The Supreme Court has held that the National Green Tribunal is entrusted with the wholesome power to ensure that its orders are complied with.

The Court also noted that the NGT has power under Section 25 of the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 to execute its orders as decrees of a civil court.

The Bench comprising CJI Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, Justice Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala held thus while setting aside National Green Tribunal’s Order disallowing an execution application filed by one Sushil Raghav raising the issue of sewerage infrastructure in Karkarmodel at Sahibabad.

Advocate Akash Vashishtha appeared for the appellant whereas Aishwarya Bhati, ASG, appeared for Union of India.

In this case, the appellant had approached NGT seeking remedial action to prevent untreated sewage and effluent being discharged in the storm water drains in Karkarmodel, situated in Municipal Corporation Ward No 43 at Sahibabad in Ghaziabad.

In its order dated March 19, 2021, the Tribunal gave various directions.

The appellant moved an execution application, seeking execution of the order dated March 19, 2021. By the impugned order, the Tribunal observed that the request made in the application “goes beyond what has been said in the order of the Tribunal dated 19 March 2021” and even otherwise, if there was a breach of the order of the Tribunal, the appellant would have to seek the remedy under Section 26 of the National Green Tribunal Act 2010.

The Tribunal did not find that there was any case for taking recourse to its power under Section 25 for executing the order.

The grievance of the appellant is that the power to impose a penalty under Section 26 will not redress the substratum or the grievance which is the discharge of untreated sewage and effluent and the absence of a sewerage system.

The Supreme Court held, “We are of the considered view that the observation of the Tribunal that there was no case for executing the earlier order under Section 25 is misconceived. The Tribunal is entrusted with the wholesome power to ensure that its orders are complied with. The absence of sewerage facilities is an important aspect which would merit the exercise of powers by the Tribunal under Section 25.”

Thus, the Court allowed the appeal and set aside the impugned order of the Tribunal. The Court directed the Tribunal to take up the application under Section 25 and consider what orders would be necessary to effectuate the original order of which execution was sought.

Cause Title- Sushil Raghav v. Union of India and Others

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