5:49 am - Wednesday January 16, 2019

SC issues notice to NGT chairperson

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The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Chairperson of the National Green Tribunal, Justice Swatanter Kumar, on a petition filed by a former law intern seeking transfer of a suit for Rs. 5 crore damages filed by Justice Kumar from Delhi High Court to a competent court in Bangalore.

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice R.M. Lodha and Justices Kurian Joseph and Rohinton Nariman issued the notice after hearing senior counsel Indira Jaising for the law intern and senior counsel K.K. Venugopal for Justice Swatanter Kumar.

Ms. Jaising submitted that the intern had expressed apprehensions about not getting justice in Delhi High Court as Justice Kumar had been a judge there.

“It is an unequal fight,” she said. “The intern is now employed with an NGO in Bangalore and the transfer will help in balancing the interests.”

Mr. Venugopal said the petitioner had already sought in-camera proceedings in the matter and this would satisfy the intern’s apprehensions.

The CJI told the counsel, “We will have to go by the likelihood of the girl’s apprehensions. We have to go by what the litigant feels. We want to ensure confidence in the minds of the litigant in the justice delivery system.”

The Bench granted four-week time to Justice Swatanter Kumar to respond and adjourned the hearing till then.

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