The Chairperson of National Green Tribunal (NGT), Justice Swatanter Kumar announced his retirement from the post on 19 December 2017, after completing his five-year tenure. A full bench reference was organised at the NGT on the occasion.
Justice Swatanter Kumar was appointed to the post of NGT Chairperson on 20 December 2012. Prior to it, he was serving as a judge in the Supreme Court of India.
During his tenure as the NGT chief, he passed several landmark orders and judgments, which include:
• The ban on 10- year-old diesel and 15-year-old petrol vehicles.
• Issuance of directions for rejuvenation of the Ganga and Yamuna.
• Demolition of illegal hotels in Himachal Pradesh.
• The ban on plastic items in Delhi, Haridwar and Punjab.
• Capping the number of pilgrims at Vaishno Devi to 50,000 per day.
• Direction to maintain silence at Amarnath.
Justice Swatanter Kumar’s successor is yet to be appointed.
• The NGT was established on 18 October 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.
• The tribunal's principal bench is located in New Delhi while its zonal benches are in Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata, and Chennai and its circuit benches in Shimla, Shillong, Jodhpur, and Kochi.
• The composition of the tribunal includes a full-time chairperson, judicial members, and expert members.
• The minimum number of judicial and expert members prescribed is 10 in each category and the maximum number is 20 in each category.
• The first chairperson of the tribunal was Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta, who was appointed on 18 October 2010 and relinquished the post in 2011 when he was made 'Lokayukta' of Himachal Pradesh.