CHENNAI: Madras high court on Friday stayed the appointment of former chief secretary of Tamil Nadu Girija Vaidyanathan as an expert member of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
“We are not happy with the qualifications of the person who has been appointed as an expert member of the tribunal,” the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said while passing the interim order.
The issue pertains to a PIL moved by environment conservation NGO Poovulagin Nanbargal challenging the appointment.
According to the petitioner, the NGT Act prescribes a minimum of administrative experience of 15 years including five years in dealing with environmental matters in the central or a state government. But in violation of the provision, Girija who does not possess five-year experience in handling environmental matters has been appointed to the post, the NGO alleged.
“Section 5 (2) (b) of the NGT Act says that a person shall not be qualified for appointment as an expert member unless they have administrative experience of 15 years including experience of five years in dealing with environmental matters in central or a state government or in a reputed national or state level institution,” the petitioner said.
However, Girija who has been selected for appointment to the post has not possessed an experience of five years in dealing with environmental matters as could be seen from her complete bio data found in the official website of the union ministry of personnel, the NGO added.
Therefore, it wanted the court to call for the records pertaining to her appointment dated December 12 issued by the union government and quash the same.