Former Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan has been appointed to the National Green Tribunal Southern Zone as the expert member. She was appointed by the Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal in New Delhi.
When Girija had applied for the post, an environmental advocacy group named Poovulagin Nanbargal filed a Public Interest Litigation in the Madras High Court challenging it on the ground that she did not have experience to deal with environment related issues According to the petitioner, the NGT prescribes a minimum administrative experience of 15 years including 5 years in dealing with environmental matters in the Central or State Government. They stated that Girija does not possess 5 years experience in dealing with environmental issues.
The petition was admitted by the first bench of the Madras High Court comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy. The court has given her time to file a reply. The PIL filed against her appointment is pending in the Madras High Court.
The incumbent expert member of the NGT Southern Zone has been transferred to the Eastern Zonal Bench in Kolkata.