The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that setting up of National Green Tribunal benches in every state will encourage people to take up environmental issues.

A Bench of Justice K M Joseph and Justice Hrishikesh Roy said every case ultimately lands up in the Apex Court. "We do not want to use the word, but the legislature has been dumb in this regard. We don't want to use the word but that is the word...every case ultimately ends up in this Court," the Bench observed.

Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, submitted that it is the prerogative of the legislature to provide for statutory appeals to the Apex Court.

The Bench asked the Advocate General if having a bench of the NGT in each state would be possible. "Why cannot NGT have a bench in each state? It will be helpful and lighten the burden and address the concerns and more people will be encouraged to take up environmental issues," the Bench observed.

Venugopal submitted that the tribunals are highly specialised bodies and they cannot be called inferior to High Courts.

The Court was hearing a petition filed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court Bar Association challenging Section 3 (Establishment of Tribunal) of the National Green Tribunal Act.

Advocate Siddharth Gupta, appearing for the petitioner, referred to an apex court judgement and said access to justice is a facet of the fundamental right.

He said jurisdiction is prohibitive since the person who raises the complaint may not often be able to take advantage of an appeal before the Apex Court.

The Bench reserved its verdict after hearing the submissions and asked parties to file written submissions within five days.

With PTI inputs