The Madras High Court has stayed the appointment of former chief secretary of Tamil Nadu, Girija Vaidyanathan as an expert member of the National Green Tribunal- NGT. The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy felt that she did not possess the required qualification to be appointed as an expert member of the Tribunal.
A Public Interest Litigation was filed challenging her appointment by environment conservation NGO Poovulagin Nanbargal. The NGT Act prescribes a minimum of 15 years of administrative experience including 5 years in dealing with environmental matters in the central or state government. They stated that the former chief secretary did not possess the 5 year experience of handling environmental matters to qualify for appointment to the post. It therefore wanted the court to call for the records pertaining to her appointment and quash the same.
The Court held that though Girija had 15 years of administrative experience, it is doubtful about her 5 years of experience in dealing with environmental matters as stipulated by the NGT Act, 2010. It therefore granted an interim stay of the appointment after it was reported that she was to take charge on April 19th.