Govt to wait and watch on NGT verdict on PCB chief

PCB chief barred from continuing in office

The government is likely to adopt a wait and watch approach on the verdict of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) barring the chairman of the State Pollution Control Board K. Sajeevan from continuing in office.

Sources told The Hindu that the government would examine the judgment in detail before taking a decision on whether to file an appeal against the NGT order. They said the other State governments which were also rapped for violating the NGT guidelines on the appointment of PCB chairmen had already approached the Supreme Court for a stay. On Thursday, the NGT had issued an order barring the chairpersons of the PCBs of nine States, including Kerala, from holding the post for not being appointed in consonance with the norms laid down by it. Last year, the tribunal had issued directives that only persons with special knowledge, practical experience or qualification in environment protection studies should be considered for the post. It had also insisted that the chairperson should have a fixed term, which should not be extended.

The judgment was based on a petition challenging the constitution of State pollution control boards on the ground that people who did not qualify were being appointed as chairmen and members.

Kerala PCB chairman K. Sajeevan has been at the centre of a row over the three extensions that have allowed him to continue in office since 2013. First appointed to the post in 2010, he received his first extension in 2013, followed by two more in 2014 and 2015.

When sought for his comments, Mr. Sajeevan said the NGT bench had issued the order without considering the affidavit on his qualifications. The verdict, he said, was all about the appointment of chairmen without the prescribed qualifications in some other States. He said that it had nothing to do with his extension of tenure.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 10:26:36 PM |

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