ALSO READHeads of 9 state pollution control boards barred from working Uttarakhand to challenge NGT order in Supreme Court NGT notice to Uttarakhand govt on tree felling in Nainital zoo UP meatsellers on indefinite strike; don't associate crackdown NGT notice to states, UTs over plastic waste management rules
The Supreme Court today agreed to hear on June 19 a plea filed by the Maharashtra government against the National Green Tribunal's order barring its state pollution control board's head from working. The green panel on June 8 had stopped the chairpersons of 10 state pollution control boards (SPCBs) from working with immediate effect for not being appointed in consonance with the judgement of the tribunal. The NGT had ordered chiefs of SPCBs of Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Kerala, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Manipur to stop their functioning. A vacation bench comprising justices R K Agrawal and Deepak Gupta posted Maharashtra's plea for hearing on Monday after advocate Nishant Ramakantrao Katneshwarkar, appearing for the state, mentioned the matter before it. The counsel sought urgent hearing of the plea saying that the recent NGT order has brought the working of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to a standstill. On June 8, the tribunal had slammed the 10 states for making ad-hoc appointments and granted three months to Delhi government and two months to Punjab and Uttar Pradesh for making appointments to their pollution control boards as per the guidelines issued by it. The NGT had in August last year asked the state governments to fill the vacancies in the boards as per the guidelines laid down by it and file the report. It had asked them why they should not be directed to stop functioning as chairmen as they were not appointed in consonance with the judgement of the tribunal. The green panel, which had issued a slew of guidelines for appointments to the posts of chairman and member secretary, had in August said the nominations should be of persons who have "special knowledge, practical experience or qualification in environment protection studies" and not on the ground of their association with state government. The tribunal said the chairman or member secretary should have a fixed term, which should not be extended.
Such persons should not hold office in the board in accordance to their tenure in state government. The judgement had come on a plea by Uttarakhand resident Rajendra Singh Bhandari, who had challenged the constitution of state pollution control boards on the ground that people who did not qualify were appointed as chairman, member secretary and members of these boards.
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