NEAA incompetent: high court

By Ravleen Kaur
Published: Sunday 15 November 2009

The Delhi High Court, on October 14, criticized the National Environment Appellate Authority (neaa) for not having the necessary expertise to look into complaints against environmental clearances to projects given by the government. The tribunal is full of bureaucrats who are of no use. There is not a single expert on its bench, the division bench of A P Shah and S Muralidhar said. The court directed the officials of the Union environment ministry to bring the irregularities in the tribunal to the notice of their minister.

The judges made the observations in connection with a public interest petition seeking the courts intervention to improve neaa functioning. Ritwick Dutta, counsel for petitioner, said it would be some time before the environment minister delivers on his promise to set up a new tribunal in place of NEAA. Daily, more than five clearances are given by the ministry.Where will the petitioner challenge the clearances till then? asked Dutta. The petitioner Promod Kumar said the neaa does not even maintain a website or email address; yet people are expected to file complaints within a month of a project getting clearance.

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