Kerala

High Court sets aside Kerala PCB chairperson’s appointment

The High Court has set aside the selection and appointment of A.B. Pradeep Kumar as chairperson of the State Pollution Control Board (PCB).

Justice Devan Ramachandran on Friday held that the procedure adopted by the selection committee, headed by the Chief Secretary, was improper. The court found that the committee had not called nine eligible candidates for the interview. The court, however, allowed Mr. Kumar to function as chairperson of the board till a fresh decision was taken by the selection committee after interviewing the eligible candidates as ordered by the court.

The court also directed the committee to interview all eligible candidates and place its recommendation before the government. The court ordered that the new selection be made within four months.

The complaint

The court passed its verdict while disposing of a writ petition filed by K.S. Govindan Nair, an aspirant and former member secretary of the board against the selection of Mr. Kumar. According to the petitioner, the application was invited in May 2020.

The qualification for the post was a master’s degree with specialisation in an environmental subject, 15 years of experience in an establishment engaged in environmental protection, and that the applicant should not be aged above 60. The petitioner had all the prescribed qualifications. The selection committee had called only Mr. Kumar for the interview and selected him. The petitioner and other applicants were not called for the interview. The action of the selection committee was against the principles of fairness and fundamental justice, he contended,

The petitioner sought a directive to the selection committee to interview qualified applicants and conduct fresh selection.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 7:53:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/high-court-sets-aside-kerala-pcb-chairpersons-appointment/article33196403.ece

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