The 16th Pro Bono Enviro National Moot Court Competition, 2023 organized by TNDALU School of Excellence in Law seeks to bring to the forefront the increasing need to address environmental concerns and encourages students to be pioneers in understanding the complexities of environmental law and the urge for the same.

The previous editions of the competition have proved to be an enriching experience for the participants owing to the distinctive, innovative, and challenging nature of the proposition and the high caliber of judging by various eminent lawyers, Hon’ble Judges of the High Court of Madras, and the Supreme Court of India.

Join us today as we take you on a journey filled with learning and memories! The Flight named 16th Pro Bono Enviro Moot Court Competition, 2023 is associated with AKV Law Firm and Nathan and Associates along with SCC Online and EBC Publishing. These individuals are the force with which the flight is ready for take-off today (28/01/2023). The duration of the initial journey of this Flight would be 36 hours starting today at 9 am.


So Ladies and Gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts because the ride has just begun!

With the Judges as Pilots, Organizers as Cabin Crew and 140+ participants as Passengers, the flight of the 16th Pro Bono Enviro National Moot Court Competition, 2023 is ready for take off.

The Final Destination of this flight is Chennai where the Finals would be conducted before a live audience on 18th February 2023. Stay tuned with us until the Finals for a ride filled with excitement, learning, and edutainment!

Our passengers who have been rightly named as Birds are ready to board the Flight for Preliminary Round 1. The Birds pitted against each other for Preliminary Round 1 are as follows-

8:15 am- Our Pilots (judges) have joined for a quick briefing with the Organizers and now they are all set to fly the airplane to its destination. Ms. Mansi Sethiya, President of MCA, SOEL along with Ms. Susamskritha, Secretary of MCA, SOEL, the Heads of the Cabin Crew briefed the judges about the Rules and the Proposition. All 53 esteemed judges were thanked for agreeing to judge the preliminary rounds. We believe in-

Living in gratitude is the gateway of grace”

And with this belief, we wholeheartedly thank all our judges for their time.

8:45 am- A flight named 16th Pro Bono Enviro National MCC has started onboarding passengers (participants) into 13 different Court Halls where 26 qualified judges will test their calm demeanour with a little turbulence in the form of questions.


9 am- With 12 out of 13 Court Halls beginning on time, we are all set to take you on an amazing journey. Get, set, Go! Each Court Hall is presided over by a bench of two judges and now our Court Hall Managers are introducing all the judges to the participants.

COURT HALL 7                                                             Judges- Mr. Sai Govindrajan and Mr. Viswajit

9:15 am- Court Hall 1 starts with Team Pelican and Team Hummingbird being bombarded with numerous questions. Despite the initial turbulence they keep their calm and start with their arguments. Court Hall 12 was tested on their knowledge about the basic concepts of law ranging from questions about locus standi to elements of Public Interest Litigation. The journey of the passenger teams in Court Hall 5 was met with heavy turbulence with the Applicant team being bombarded with questions about ex-post facto clearance. Our Pilots in Court Hall 5 were well researched and were quick to point out the the difference in memorial and oral arguments, leaving the team flustered. But as fighters, the team bounced back stronger with Speaker 2 handling the pressure.

COURT HALL 1                                                            Judges- Mr. Jayesh Daga and Ms. Nimrah Ali

  9:40 am- Court Hall 3 started with the Applicant Team presenting maps and other similar documents to prove their stance. The judges were impressed by the research done by the team. Court Hall 4’s Pilots were also very impressed with the compendium presented by the Applicant. Court Hall 6 began with a short delay but was compensated with by long, elaborate arguments by the teams. Court Hall 13 proceeded smoothly with the teams answering all questions, based on fact and on law succinctly. One common question asked in all Court Halls predominantly was about the “Ex-Post Facto Clearance” being awarded to environmental projects. The Applicants and Respondents stayed firm on their respective stances trying their best to put forth their beliefs and contentions.


COURT HALL 12                                                                    Judges- Mr. Abhishek Sethiya and Mr. Hari Krishna P

“Trust yourself, you know more than you think you do”

Benjamin Spock


10:30 am: With most Court Halls winding up their respective rounds, the passenger teams sat with crossed fingers waiting to hear feedback about their presentation from the judges. Our judges were kind enough to provide constructive feedback to each participant telling them about improvements that could aid them in subsequent rounds.

COURT HALL 8                                                               Judges- Mr. Surya Narayanan and Ms. Teepanjali
COURT HALL 13                                                                 Judges- Ms. Aiswarya YK and Ms. Varsha S

With this we concluded PRELIMINARY ROUND 1 (Session 1) for 26 Teams. The Cabin Crew is all geared up for PRELIMINARY ROUND 1 (Session 2) scheduled to begin at 11 am.

11 am: 24 Passenger Teams are all set to put forth their best arguments to reach their final destination- CHENNAI for the Final Showdown to the 16th Probono Enviro National Moot Court Competition, 2023. Our Pilots from Session 1 will be helming this Session as well.

11:30 am:  Court Halls 1 to 11 have started the rounds with immense fervor. Strong arguments combined with well researched material has been the highlight of this Session. The questions have doubled but our participants continue to answer with an air of calmness. Court Hall 4 started strong with the basics being questioned- ‘Can PIL be entertained by a Tribunal?’ This interesting arena of law was argued well by both the teams. Court Hall 1 tested the abilities of the participants to be precise and brief by asking them to state only 5 relevant facts from the Proposition.

Judges- Ms. Carol James and Mr. Balaji Arunachalam

12:15 am:  Turbulence and rebuttals go hand in hand. All teams put their best foot forward trying to prove and disprove their opponents’ contentions. The precedents put forth were questioned on their binding value and simultaneously, other precedents were cited to negate the opposite team’s submissions. Sur-rebuttals was an interesting and strong reply to all questions posed during the rebuttals.

Judges- Mr. Arjun Suresh and Mr. Harikrishna R

12:30 am: With the feedback session which proved to be extremely helpful, we come to the end of Preliminary Round 1. The Moot Court Association is all set for Preliminary Round 2 starting at 1pm. Stay tuned!


1:00 pm: All Court Halls, that is, Court Halls 1 to 12 started on time with our judges and participants eagerly waiting to hear the arguments, contentions and submissions. Court Hall 5 had an interactive panel that prodded the participants on various principles of International Law. As keen enthusiasts of International Law, the panel in Court Hall 5 enquired about Stockholm Declaration and its applicability on the National Green Tribunal. The binding value of such declarations and ratifications was also sought for. Team Rail and Team Hornbill tried their best to satisfy the judges with their answers. Court Hall 3 on the other hand, showcased live maps to prove their contentions regarding geographical boundaries of the estuary and wetlands mentioned in the Moot Proposition.

Judges- Mr. Balaji A.P and Mr. Mohd Sajid
Judges- Ms. Deepa and Ms. Lalitha Perumal

1:35 pm:  Court Hall 11 started well with the judges being patient listeners to all arguments put forth by both the teams- Team Cuckoo and Team Penguin. Court Hall 10 started a unique discussion of ‘Light Pollution and its impact on migrating birds’. The judges were quite impressed with the submissions being made. Team Nightingale was appreciated for the way they presented their contentions by the judges in Court Hall 7. The Compendiums submitted by Team Nightingale was the highlight of this round. Team Macaw on the other hand was appreciated for sticking to their time limit.

Judges- Mrs. Shreevardhini and Ms. Janaki Devi
Judges- Mr. Subramaniam S and Mr. Mitesh R.

2:15 pm:  The curtain closes on Session 1 of PRELIMINARY ROUND 2 with the judges giving their valuable feedback to all participants. We are all set for the last session of the day starting at 3pm. Stay tuned!

3:00 pm:  The last session for the day was helmed by the same Pilots and we are grateful for their time and patience. Court Hall 2 had an amazing run with Team Kingfisher being appreciated for being prompt, precise and well-researched. Speaker 1 of Team Kingfisher reminded our judge of her own mooting days.

Judges- Ms. Bagavathy and Ms. Aishwarya VM

3:30 pm: Court Hall 8 continued to impress the judges with their presentation skills. Court Hall 4 was an interesting session with numerous questions being asked. One noteworthy question was related to the “Doctrine of Proportionality with respect to Electro Steels Limited v. Union of India”. The participants answered this question with ease owing to their in-depth research. Court Hall 6 also enquired about the difference between notified sanctuary and notified bird sanctuary. Every round was an interactive session that both, the participants and judges enjoyed thoroughly.

Judges- Mr. Aditya Sarangrajan and Mr. Pravesh R.

4:10 pm:  It is time to brace ourselves for the landing as we come to a conclusion of Preliminary Rounds. The nerve wrecking yet exciting rounds come to an end and the participants now await the results for Quarter Finals which will be revealed by 9 pm today!






10:00 am:  All four Court Halls are set to start this journey with 12 esteemed panel of judges. The flight will soar higher today as the stakes have increased marginally. The teams are two steps away from being the Winner of the “16th Probono Enviro National Moot Court Competition, 2023”. 

“Winners are willing to go longer, work harder and give more than anyone else”

-Vince Lombardi

10:05 am: Our Court Hall Managers have started the Judges’ Briefing. The Proposition, possible issues and presentation details were discussed. The Rules were summarized for brevity.


Mr. Arvind Srevatsa, Mr. Karthik Jayakumar and Ms. Kaavya Silamban are all set to choose the best among the two teams. Experience, enthusiasm and interaction is the mood of this Court Hall. As soon as the rounds began, the pertinent questions began! The fundamentals, that is, knowledge of facts was checked. Team Kingfisher was first quizzed on the composition of the NGT and if expert members can also be addressed as ‘Lordship’. An interesting question which was largely left unanswered. The next curveball was thrown in the form of ‘time of start of Cause of Action and start of limitation period thereof’. The judge believed that Cause of Action started in May, 2019 but the Counsel tried her best to convince them about CoA starting in Nov, 2019. Speaker 2 from Team Kingfisher was quizzed extensively on the probabilities and possibilities that she used in her argument. ‘What is a notified bird sanctuary, notified turtle nesting ground’ formed the crux of the questions thrown her way.

At 10:40 am, Team Kiwi started their submissions with the preliminary issue of the Applicant not having locus standi to approach the NGT at Otteri. Precedents were cited to support the stance but the judges were not convinced and ultimately held that ‘locus standi’ was present and the case shall proceed on merits. Speaker 1 of Team Kiwi showcased his prowess by using facts convincingly to answer all further questions of the judges. When Speaker 1 was quizzed about his co-counsel’s arguments, he was able to satisfactorily answer questions with precedents. Speaker 2 began his arguments by presenting a map to showcase the distance between the site and the bird sanctuary. An aerial map was presented by the Speaker. Joint Committee Report’s finding on post facto clearance was heavily relied upon. With rebuttals and sur-rebuttals, we ended this round on a high note.




Ms. Sharda Vivek, Mr. Niranjan Rajagopalan and Mrs. Aarthi Rathna are the panel judging in Court Hall 2. The Applicant started their arguments with the issue of locus standi. The Judges asked them to argue on how the rights were violated rather than the post environmental effects. They argued that the legal right of Mr. Pakshi has been violated and the construction of harbour affects the wetlands. The Judges also asked how the Fundamental Rights differ from the Directive Principles of State policy. Team Weaverbird stated the various International Conventions they relied on. The Judges questioned whether they sought any relief from the Court for notifying the wetland under the convention. The Applicant responded that the wetland was not notified according to the facts. Lastly, the Judges stated that every activity somehow results in environmental degradation, for example Farming and that is why the Sustainable Development was introduced to balance it.  This was an interesting question asked to the Team. At 11:00 am, the Respondent finally began their arguments.


10:25 am: COURT HALL 3- MYNA v. QUAIL

Mr. Anandh Kumar, Mr. Roshan Jayakumar and Ms. Varsha Sridharan comprise the panel judging in Court Hall 3. The timing of Speakers in Court Hall 3 was very liberal with Speaker 1 speaking for over 30 minutes. Numerous questions were asked to both teams, which they tried to answer to the best of their abilities.



Ms. Vadhana Bhaskar, Ms. Ashwathy Nair and Ms. Swadhi Subramaniam comprise the panel judging in Court Hall 4. The rounds started at around 10:30 am, wherein the Applicant started with the issue of maintainability of the matter before the National Green Tribunal. The  judges questioned the Counsel regarding the locus standi of the Plaintiff in the present case, since he is not an aggrieved party. There was detailed discussion on the definition and interpretation of the word “aggrieved” where the Counsel provided various authorities and precedents in their favour. The second Speaker dealt with the substantive portion of the case, were several cases and authoritative reports were quoted. The session was quite interactive and Team Toucan finished by 11:10 am.

The Respondent commenced around 11:15 am and the Judges questioned them about 5 facts that were against them. The counsel rebutted the issue of Maintainablility in two limbs, being lack of locus standi and that the application is time-barred. Moving to the substantial issues at hand, the Counsel relied on the case of Pahwa Plastics Pvt. Ltd. v. Dastak NGO, to establish that the Respondent is eligible to acquire a ex post-facto Environmental clearance because the present case rightly strikes a balance between the public utility and Environmental protection. The Counsel 2 started at 11:30 am and dealt with the substantial questions, for which he contended that the Respondents have duly adhered to all requirements as laid down by the National Center for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) to establish that the location is beyond the Ecological Sensitive Zone, and the judges posted several questions regarding the binding value of the reports of this Authority. All in all, it was an engaging and interesting round.


12 noon: Three Court Halls completed their session by 12 noon but Court Hall 3 is still going strong. The ocean of questions in Court Hall 3 are never ending. Respondent Speaker 1 is putting forth his submissions now. The rounds in Court Hall lasted until 1 pm.

And this was the end of Quarter Finals! All teams are now eagerly waiting for results.


1:10 pm: We finally have the last four! Semi Final Rounds will begin at 2:30 pm where a five-judge bench will judge the teams!

3:00pm: After the Judges Briefing, the Semi Final Rounds started with two Court Halls having a five judge bench each.


The esteemed panel of judges for this Court Hall comprised of Mr.Naveen Murthy, Mr. Yogeshwaran, Mr. Harsha Raj, Mr. Rajeev and Mr. Sai Sathyajit. Mr. Yogesh is also the problem drafter for the current edition of the Moot Court Competition. The proceedings in Court Hall – 1 began with great vigour today. With a 5 judge bunch, the counsel arguing the case could not expect breathing space and no complacency would’ve been entertained. The judges expected a Statutory backing for every single argument that was presented by the Counsels. The arguments were expected to be crisp and ambiguous arguments weren’t entertained. The Applicant, Team Quail was questioned by the judges to prove their locus standi to file the present case. “Why did no citizen from the home state file the case.” was the question asked and the team tried their best to satisfy the judges. The Respondents were then questioned to prove the maintainability of the said matter. The bench was well aware of complex environment terminologies and wanted the counsel to simply the concepts for them. Importance was placed on brevity.


The esteemed panel of judges for this Court Hall comprised of Ms.Devi, Mr. Palaniandavan, Ms.Rohini Ravikumar, Mr. Atul Alexander and Mr. Stanley. The Applicant, Team BlueBird began with great fervour. Speaker 1 raised an issue on maintainability issue and environment clearance. Speaker 2 argued on Precautionary Principle and other issues on merits. The Judges remarked that the Prayer must be in detail with the actual relief of the case being stated. Then Team Nightingale, the Respondent presented their stance. Speaker 1 made a wide interpretation of the Maintainability issue as the NGT Act (Schedule) specified the Acts for its Jurisdiction but the Judges believed that it must be construed in different ways. Speaker 2, on the other hand used the Compendium and Maps in an efficient way to argue the issue of establishment of Fishing Harbour. The judges were very impressed by Speaker 2’s arguments and contentions.


The most awaited moment is here! We finally have our finalists out of 50 teams from all over India. And the Finalists are-

The Final Rounds are scheduled to be conducted on 18th February, 2023 at the School of Excellence in Law, Chennai campus. The Results for Best Speaker and Best Researcher were also declared today! And the winners are-

Congratulations to all winners! Last but not the least, a huge shoutout to Moot Court Association of School of Excellence in Law for the smooth conduct of the Competition.

We would like to sign off by thanking all our Sponsors, judges and student coordinators for their presence throughout the Competition. Thank you for your precious time and worthwhile words. Additionally, we would like to congratulate all the winners and the participants for their active, enthusiastic, wholehearted presence at our event. Further, we express our utmost appreciation to SCC and EBC for accompanying us as our Knowledge Partners.

On this note, this is Moot Court Association of SOEL signing off by wishing you all a wonderful year ahead. Thank you for staying updated throughout the event and we hope to resurge again soon.

Thank you, everyone. Warm wishes to all!

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