Mani Shankar’s appointment is violative of SC’s directive

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The appointment of Mani Shankar as Chairman of Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board by Governor Syed Ahmad has violated the Supreme Court’s directives.

The Supreme Court by its order dated August 14,2003 in Writ Petition(Civil)No 657/1995 set up a Monitoring Committee headed by MGK Menon to ensure time-bound implementation of various directions given in the said order.

During its interactions with various pollution control officials,the SC Monitoring Committee had noticed that the State Pollution Control Boards of the States and Pollution Control Committees of Union Territories were not constituted in accordance with the provisions given in the Water Act,1974 and the Air Act,1981.

It also found that in several cases,the Chief Secretaries,Environment Secretaries,Politicians,MLAs and other non technical persons were appointed as Chairpersons of the pollution control board.As such,the SCMC laid the statutory provisions for appointment of the board’s chairman.

These statutory provisions require that the Chairman appointed shall be a person having “special knowledge or practical experience in respect of matters relating to environmental protection or a person having knowledge and experience in administering institutions dealing with the matters aforesaid.”

Manishankar does not fulfill these qualifications.He has no credentials showing he had any special knowledge or practical experience in respect of matters relating to environment protection.Neither he had any knowledge and experience in administering institutions dealing with environment.

His bio data taken into account by Governor Ahmad to appoint him as Chairman reveals that 49 year old Manishankar was an MA in Political Science with a Diploma in Journalism.Though he never excelled in journalism by serving any acclaimed media house,he claims to have bagged “National Youth Award” in 1989,donated the award money of Rs 50,000 to the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s Armenia Earthquake Relief Fund,possessed his own photograph with Rajiv Gandhi and boasts of organizing camps under the banner of an NGO-“SITA”-for the physically challeneged.

Not the least,the rules and clauses of the Central Pollution Control Board related with the appointment of its chairman and its services were amended as per the notification issued by the Union Environment and Forest Ministry on November 29,2012.As per the amended provisions,the chairman of the board had to be appointed by a ‘search cum selection committee’ headed by the Cabinet Secretary.

Following the SC’s directive and the amended Central rule,the Jharkhand’s Environment and Forest Department prepared a file for adopting the statutory privisions for the appointment of the chairman.These had to be approved by the Governor’s Advisory Council to make them effective in Jharkhand.

But Governor Ahmad instead of taking initiative to get them approved,deemed it fit to appoint Manishankar as chairman of the board.His logic?

“Sarkar ‘Panchayaton Ko Jayada Se Jyada Adhikar’Ke Madhayam Se Sarkari Kam Kaj Me Aam Admi Ki Bhagidari Badhane Ki Niyat Par Karyarat Hai.Jharkhand Rajya Pradushan Control Board Adhyaksh Pad Par Niyukti Samandhi Prastawit Niyamwawali Ke Karyawanan Se Sarkari Kam Kaj Me Aam Admi Ki Bhagidari Kam Hone Ki Ashanka Pratit Hoti Hai.

Mananiya Ucchtam Nayalaya Ke Jis Disha Nirdesh Ke Alok Me Jharkhand Rajya Pollution Control Board Ke Adhyaksh Pad Par Niyukti Samandhi Niyamwawali banana Ka Prastav Hai,Kripya Us Mool Adesh Ki Prati Sulabh Karaijaye taki Us par Vaidhik Mat Prapt Kiya Ja Sake.

Vartaman Paristhithi Me Rajya Pradushan Board Ka adhyaksh Pad Rikt Hone Ke karan Board Ka Kam Kaj Thapp Hai.Atev Shri Manishankar Jin Ka avedan Tatha Bio Data Patrachar Bhag Par Adharit Hai Ko adhyaksh,Jharkhand Rajya Pradushan Niyantaran Board Ke Pad Par Agle Adesh Athwa Term Pura Hone Tak Jo Bhi Pahle Ho Niyukt Kiya Jata Hai.”

Can any body challenge His Excellency Ahmad’s decision?

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