The Karnataka High Court on Friday orally observed that the appointment of disqualified Chikkaballapur MLA K Sudhakar as Chairman of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) should be quashed.
The matter has been posted for final hearing on September 23 with the state government being asked to file its objections on or before September 20.
Sudhakar who won on a Congress ticket, was one of the 17 MLAs of the former JD(S)-Congress coalition government who had resigned from their positions to pave way for the BJP to form a government in the state. Sudhakar was appointed as the KSPCB chairman in June by former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy after days of him lobbying for the post with the top rung of his former party.
The HC bench comprising Chief Justice AS Oka and Justice Mohammed Nawaz on Friday came down heavily on the government of Karnataka for violating section 4(2) of the Water Act while appointing Sudhakar to the post of chairman of KSPCB.
It was observed by the court that post facto approval to the appointment was given on September 3, 2019 and was done after the High Court directed the principal government advocate to produce all records relating to the appointment.
The HC opined that it was a "disturbing trend and not acceptable". The court further noted that the order issued in the name of the Governor dated June 20 does not state about the post facto approval sought to be obtained on appointment. The court was also unhappy that the state government did not respond as directed.
It was earlier reported that the same bench on August 30 had asked the state government to produce all relevant documents relating to the appointment while hearing a writ petition challenging Sudhakarâ€™s appointment.
The advocates for the petitioner argued that the appointment was arbitrary and in violation of the Supreme Court directives, as Sudhakar did not possess any special knowledge in respect of environmental matters.