Now A Tiff In NGT: Sitting Member Moves SC Questioning Acting Chairperson's Appointment

Now A Tiff In NGT: Sitting Member Moves SC Questioning Acting Chairperson

Justice Rathore also sought an order holding him as the senior-most judicial member of the tribunal and direction to MoEF for passing appropriate orders for appointing him as the acting chairperson of the NGT.

 A “supersession” row has erupted in the National Green Tribunal over the appointment of Justice Jawad Rahim as the Acting Chairperson by the Supreme Court till a regular appointment was made by the central government.

The notification regarding the appointment was issued on March 27.

On Tuesday a judicial member Justice RS Rathore moved the Supreme Court questioning Rahim’s appointment and claiming that he was the senior-most member of the tribunal while justice Rahim “stood third in the seniority list”.

Justice Rathore also sought an order holding him as the senior-most judicial member of the tribunal and direction to MoEF for passing appropriate orders for appointing him as the acting chairperson of the NGT.

A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Mohan M Shantanagoudar directed the matter to be listed after the summer vacation in the second week of July.

“It would be against established conventions and practices, either by way of interim arrangement or final, if judicial members who are senior in rank are superseded by a junior judge”, Rathore said in his petition.

He alleges that the order by SC was passed without giving him a hearing.

A notification was issued on April 5 this year by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change authorising Justice Rahim to act as the Chairperson of the NGT with effect from that day until the date a new Chairperson is appointed.

Justice Rathore sought the setting aside of the April 5 notification appointing Justice Rahim as acting chairperson.

I have no personal grievance against Justice Rahim but the question of institutional seniority must be determined in a fair, transparent and accountable manner and must follow logically on the basis of the orders of appointment compatible with the provisions of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, he said.