“An Expert Member should be an expert. We do not feel any disrespect to the candidate. But the very objective is lost in the Centre creating tribunals on tax, banking, environment and other issues because judges are not experts,” said the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy on Friday.
The bench was hearing the case against the former chief secretary’s appointment to the NGT as an Expert Member.
While Assistant Solicitor General R Sankaranarayanan submitted that the appointment has been made as per the rules and that the Centre has no personal interest in the same, Chief Justice Banerjee remarked, “It depends on how liberally you interpret the rule that even a morning walker is an environmentalist.”
“Nevertheless, I have to concede to one thing that IAS officers do have a very good IQ and they go through a very gruelling selection process,” the chief justice added.
The case was adjourned to Monday for submission of certain documents by the Centre. The court had stayed the senior bureaucrat’s appointment last week following a petition from environmental NGO, Poovulagin Nanbargal.