India's First Environmental Tribunal Opens - 'Anyone & Everyone' Can Bring Cases Before Court

india water pollution photo

photo: Prakhar Amba/Creative Commons

Back in May it was announced that India was establishing a National Environmental Tribunal to focus on prosecution of green crimes. While it's not quite establishing ecocide as a crime internationally, it's a good idea. Well now, as Economic Times reports, the green court has officially been opened in Delhi. Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh explains, "Anybody and everybody can approach the tribunal to claim civil damages arising out of inadequate implementation of environmental laws. This is the first body of its kind (in India) to apply the polluter pays principle of sustainable development."

Let's see how effective that anybody and everybody part plays out in practice, as well as what sort of damages are actually awarded...

The tribunal will actually operate at locations around India and will be composed of environmental experts with the authority to "try all matters related to and arising out of environmental issues."

As I wondered back in May, what do TreeHugger readers think? Should the United States establish specific courts to try environmental cases?

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More on Environmental Justice:
India Established National Environmental Tribunal - Should The US Start One Too?
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