Environment Tribunals

  • 19. Environmental Tribunals:

    1) The Government may, by notification in the official gazette, establish anEnvironmental Tribunal.

    2) An Environmental Tribunal shall consist of a Chairperson who is, or has been or is qualified for appointment as, a judge of the High Court to be appointed after consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court andtwo members to be appointed by the Government of which at least oneshall be technical member with suitable professional qualifications andexperience in the environmental field as may be prescribed.

    3) For every sitting of the Environmental Tribunal, the presence of theChairperson and not less than one Member shall be necessary.

    4) A decision of an Environmental Tribunal shall be expressed in terms ofthe opinion of the majority of its members, including the Chairperson, orif the case has been decided by the Chairperson and only one of the members and there is a difference of opinion between them, the decisionof the Environmental Tribunal shall be expressed in terms of the opinionof the Chairperson.

    5) An Environmental Tribunal shall not, merely by reason of a change in itscomposition, or the absence of any member from any sitting, be bound torecall and rehear any witness who has given evidence, and may act onthe evidence already recorded by or produced, before it.

    6) An Environmental Tribunal shall hold its sittings at Muzaffarabad,however, based on the load of work and with the prior approval of the Government the Environmental Tribunal may sit at Mirpur also.

    7) No act or proceeding of an Environmental Tribunal shall be invalid byreason only of the existence of a vacancy, in or defect in the constitutionof the Environmental Tribunal.

    8) The terms and conditions of service of the chairperson and members of the Environmental Tribunal shall be such as may be prescribed.

    20. Jurisdiction and powers of Environmental Tribunals:

    1) An Environmental Tribunal shall exercise such powers and perform suchfunctions as are, or may be, conferred upon or assigned to it by or underthis Act, or the rules and regulations made thereunder.

    2) All contraventions punishable under sub-section (1) of section 16 shallexclusively be triable by an Environmental Tribunal.

    3) An Environmental Tribunal shall not take cognizance of any offence triable under sub-section (2) except on a complaint in writing by; a) The Agency or any Government Agency or Local Council; and b) Any aggrieved person, who has given notice of not less than thirty days to the Agency of the alleged contravention and of hisintention to made a complaint to the Environmental Tribunal. 21

    4) In exercise of its criminal jurisdiction, the Environmental Tribunal shallhave the same powers as are vested in the Court of Session under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act V of 1898).

    5) In exercise of the appellate jurisdiction under section 21 theEnvironmental Tribunal shall have the same powers and shall follow thesame procedure as an appellate court in the Code of Civil Procedure,1908 (Act V of 1908).

    6) In all matters with respect to which no procedure has been provided forin this Act, the Environmental Tribunal shall follow the procedure laiddown in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act V of 1908).

    7) An Environmental Tribunal may, on application filed by any officer dulyauthorized in this behalf by the Director-General of the Agency issue bailable warrant for the arrest of any person against whom reasonable suspicion exists of is having been involved in contravention punishableunder sub-section (1) of section 16. Provided that such warrant shall be applied or issued, and executed inaccordance with the provisions of the code of Criminal Procedure 1898(Act V of 1898).Provided further that if the person arrested executes a bond withsufficient sureties in accordance with the endorsement on the warrant, heshall be released from custody, failing which he shall be taken or sent without delay to the officer-in-charge of the nearest police station.

    8) All proceedings before the Environmental Tribunal shall be deemed to bejudicial proceedings within the meaning of sections 193 and 228 of thePakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860), and the EnvironmentalTribunal shall be deemed to be a court for the purposes of section 480 and 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act V of 1898).

    9) No court other than an Environmental Tribunal shall have or exerciseany jurisdiction with respect to any mater to which the jurisdiction of anEnvironmental Tribunal extends under this Act or the rules andregulations made thereunder.

    10) Where the Environmental Tribunal is satisfied that a complaint made toit under sub-section (3) is false and vexatious to the knowledge of thecomplainant, it may, by an order, direct the complainant to pay to the person complained against such compensatory costs which may extend to one hundred thousand rupees.

    21. Appeals to the Environmental Tribunal:

    1) Any person aggrieved by any order or direction of the Agency under anyprovision of this Act and rules or regulations made thereunder mayprefer an appeal with the Environmental Tribunal within thirty days of the date of communication of the impugned order or direction to suchperson.

    2) An appeal to the Environmental Tribunal shall be in such form, containsuch particulars and be accompanied by such fees as may be prescribed.

    The Chairman Environmental Tribunal

    Honorable Justice Sadaqat Husssain Raja