Supreme People's Court reviews pollution case

By CAO YIN (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated : 2015-12-29

An official of China's top court said on Tuesday that it has accepted an application and is reviewing the case that an environmental group accused eight chemical plants of polluting the Tengger Desert.

The Supreme People's Court received the retrial application of the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation and is now reviewing materials of the case, Wang Xuguang, deputy chief judge of the Environment and Ecology Tribunal with the top court, said during Tuesday's press conference.

In August, the environmental organization sued eight chemical factories that polluted the Tengger Desert in Ningxia Hui autonomous region, but the Intermediate People's Court in Zhongwei, city of the region, refused to hear the case because the group did not meet the legal requirements for making a public-interest lawsuit.

The organization later appealed to the regional high people's court, but the case was still in a failure in the filing process for the group's qualification.

"We'll carefully study the qualification of the group and give an answer in accordance with the law in a timely manner," Wang said.

"If we find mistakes in verifying the qualification of the NGO, made by the two local courts, we'll correct them and retry the case. On the contrary, we'll also dismiss the group's application if it is indeed unqualified," he said, adding all the procedures and reviews will be developed strictly in line with the law.

Under a new Environmental Protection Law, an NGO is allowed to sue on behalf of the public when it has been engaged in the environmental industry for at least five years.

According to the group's website, it was registered at the Ministry of Civil Affairs in 1997 and has been researching biodiversity for a long time.