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An eminent figure Swatanter Kumar during his distinguished career served as the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court and a Judge in the Supreme Court of India; thereafter going on to become the Chairperson of the National Green Tribunal. During his tenure at the National Green Tribunal he was instrumental in delivering several landmark judgements widening the horizons of environmental jurisprudence in India. These judgments were related to cleaning of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, Lakes, Air Pollution, Himalayan Glaciers, Municipal Solid Waste and Protection of Forests. Some of his judgments were of international scope, like those dealing with oil spills caused from sinking ships.
He has been a Legal Advisor at the Central Board for Prevention and Control of Pollution, and a Standing Council to various Government and Non-Government Corporations and Public Bodies. As the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court he established courts at the Talukas (at village level). For his contribution as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India, Judge and Chief Justice of High Court and the Chairperson of the National Green Tribunal, he has been bestowed with 12 different awards.
As Chairperson in the National Green Tribunal he introduced for the first time ‘the practice of a consultative process of stakeholders’ in the dispensation of environmental justice. In consonance with the legislative intent of enacting the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 for expeditious disposal of cases. Under his leadership, the National Green Tribunal held various international as well as Regional Conferences on environment.