Year : 1995ACT NO. 27 OF 1995.
WHEREAS decisions were taken at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held at Rio de Janeiro in June,1992, in which India participated, calling upon the States to develop national laws regarding liability and compensation for the victims of pollution and other environmental damages;
AND WHEREAS it is considered expedient to implement the decisions of the aforesaid Conference so far as they relate to the protection of environment and payment of compensation for damage to persons, property and the environment while handling hazardous substances;
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Forty-sixth Year of the Republic of India as follows:-
Section -1 Short title and commencement.
(1) This Act may be called the National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995.
(2) It shall come into force on such date or dates as the Central Government may, by notification, appoint, and different dates may be appointed for different States and any reference in any provision of this Act to the commencement of this Act shall be construed in relation to any State or part thereof as a reference to the coming into force of that provision in that State or part thereof.
Section -2 Definitions.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires;-
(a) "Accident" means an accident involving a fortuitous or sudden or unintended occurrence while handling any hazardous sub. stance resulting in continuous or intermittent or repeated exposure to death of, or injury to, any person or damage to any property or environment but does not include an accident by reason only of war or radio-activity;
(b) "Bench" means a Bench of the Tribunal;
(c) "Chairperson" means the Chairperson of the Tribunal;
(d) "Environment" includes water, air and land and the interrelation ship which exists among and between water, air and land, and human beings, other living creatures, plants, microorganism and property;
(e) "Handling", in relation to any hazardous substance, means the manufacture, processing; treatment; package; storage; trans -portation by vehicle, use, collection, destruction, conversion, offering for sale, transfer or the like of such hazardous substance;
(f) "Hazardous substance" means any substance or preparation which is defined as hazardous substance in the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, (29 of 1986.) and exceeding such quantity as specified by the Central Government under the Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991; (6.of 1991.)
(g) "Judicial Member" means a Member of the Tribunal a-pointed as such under this Act, and includes,the Chairperson or a Vice -Chairperson who possesses any of the qualifications specified in sub-section (3) of section 10;
(h) "Member" means a Member (whether Judicial or Technical)of the Tribunal and includes the Chairperson and a Vice- Chairperson;
(i) "Notification" means a notification published in the official Gazette;
(j) "Prescribed means prescribed by ruler. made under this Act;
(k) "rules" means the rules made under this Act;
(l) "Technical Member" means a Member of the Tribunal who is not a Judicial Member within the meaning of clause (g)
(m) "Tribunal"means the National Environment Tribunal established under section 8;
(n) "Vice-Chairperson" means the Vice-Chairperson of the Tribunal.
Explanation.-In the case of the Tribunal having two or more Vice -Chairpersons, references to the Vice-Chairperson in this Act shall be construed as a reference to each of those Vice-Chairpersons;
(o) "Owner" means a person who owns, or has control over handling, any hazardous substance at the time of accident and includes,-
(i) In the case of a firm, any of its partners;
(ii) In the case of an association, any of its members;and
(iii) In the case of a company, any of its directors, managers, secretaries or other officers who is directly in charge of, and is responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company.