Green Tribunal in India Now Charging Fee for Victims--Not Polluters

Image: Jaymis Loveday via flickr

Well, the National Green Tribunal created last year seemed like a good idea, but here's an interesting twist: the environment ministry has just ordered victims seeking compensation or damages from a polluting industry to pay one percent of the total amount as a "fee" to the tribunal. That's right, the victim must pay the service fee, rather than the guilty party, for the government to deliver justice.The Economic Times explains:

The rules note, "An application or appeal where compensation has been claimed, shall be accompanied by a fee equivalent to 1% of the compensation claimed, subject to a minimum of Rs 1,000." [Rs 1,000 is approximately $23.]

The perversity of the provision would hit harder if the plaintiff loses his or her petition. The amount would still end up in the pockets of the government as 'fee'.

The tribunal opened its first case in October of last year, but there are clearly a few questionable details. In addition to the fee, the Economic Times wrote that other courts are no longer allowed to try any civil cases relating to environmental legislation.

More on environmental policy in India
India Establishes National Environmental Tribunal - Should The US Start One Too?
India's First Environmental Tribunal Opens - 'Anyone & Everyone' Can Bring Cases Before Court
Indian Tribals & Native Americans Both at Center of New Mining Conflict

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