New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday granted the central government an extension of six months to set up a National Environment Management Authority.

A three-judge bench headed by chief justice H.L. Dattu, also called the forest bench, said no further extensions would be granted.

The apex court had in January last year asked for an appointment of a national green regulator. This had to be completed by 31 March, after which extensions were sought.

The environment regulator is to have the power to appraise projects, enforce environmental conditions for approvals, impose penalties on polluters and implement the national forest policy. Amicus curiae (friend of court) Harish Salve told the court that under section 3(3) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, such an authority could be established by the central government.

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