After Paswan and Athawale, Union minister Upendra Kushwaha seeks NGT chief’s removal
Before Kushwaha, Union ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Ramdas Athawale had sought removal of AK Goel’s removal as NGT chairman.Updated: Jul 30, 2018 01:18 IST
Union minister and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party chief Upendra Kushwaha became the third minister in the NDA government, who on Sunday supported the demand seeking removal of Justice (retired) AK Goel from the post of National Green Tribunal chief.
“We are assuring people that we won’t let them suffer because of Justice Goel’s decision (on SC/ST Act), but his appointment as NGT chairman has sent a very wrong message. I support the demand of his removal from the post of NGT chairman,” Kushwaha, who is the junior HRD minister told news agency ANI.
Before Kushwaha, Union ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Ramdas Athawale had sought removal of Goel. Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party, an ally of BJP, had demanded the removal of Justice AK Goel as chief of the National Green Tribunal on the ground that he was one of the two top court judges who delivered the verdict in what Dalits said diluted the provisions of the SC/ST Act.
Kushwaha could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
Paswan had said that his party will join the protests called by Dalits against the government on August 9 if their demands were not met but stopped short of issuing a threat of walking out of the alliance.
After he retired from Supreme Court, Goel was appointed the NGT chairperson on July 6 for five years.
A Supreme Court bench led by Justices Goel and U U Lalit had on March 20 “diluted” the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, ruling that government servants should not be arrested without prior sanction and private citizens too, can be arrested only after an inquiry.
On Saturday, Republican Party of India president Ramdas Athawale, another BJP ally, had said that there was resentment among Dalits about Justice Goel’s appointment.
“Goel should be removed from the post of NGT chairperson. The Dalit community is not happy with this appointment as he was part of a bench which had given a wrong judgment,” Athawale had said.
The LJP has also been demanding for an ordinance to restore the original provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for over four months.
First Published: Jul 29, 2018 23:38 IST