No illegality in guidelines on selecting chairperson for KSPCB: HC

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday found no illegality in the Government Order of prescribing guidelines issued by the State government for selection of persons for nomination to the post of Chairperson of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB).

“Nothing in the Statute that the search and the selection committee cannot be the same. Per se there is no illegality in the guidelines issued by the State government,” the court observed.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi passed the order while disposing of a PIL petition filed by Geetha Misra. The petitioner had questioned the guidelines issued by the State government on June 19, 2020 contending that the same committee cannot undertake the process of both search and selection.

The guidelines were issued based on a judgement of the Supreme Court, which had directed all the State governments to frame norms for selection of eligible persons as per the qualifications prescribed under the Water Act. The search-cum-selection committee is headed by the Chief Minister and comprises the Minister for Forest and Ecology, and the Chief Secretary.

As the guidelines refer to both the judgment of the Supreme Court as well as the qualifications prescribed for the post of chairperson of the KSPCB, the bench said any public spirited persons can question nomination of a person to the post of chairperson of the KSPCB if the committee chooses a person not having the required qualifications as per the law.

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Sagar Biswas

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