HC notice on plea questioning appointment of KSPCB chief

The High Court of Karnataka on Monday ordered issue of notice to the State Government on a PIL petition questioning appointment of Shanth A. Thimmaiah, who was associated with various private companies that are engaged in mining, quarrying and environment impact study, as the chairperson of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB).

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum passed the order on the petition filed by Pushpa B. Gavadi, a student pursuing post-graduate degree in law.

Various posts held

Naming several companies in which he was working in positions like environment engineer, technical advisor, partner, director and managing director, the petitioner has alleged that appointing him to the post carries a “conflict of interest” though he has sufficient educational qualification.

The petitioner has pointed out that as per the provision of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, a person, who has directly or indirectly by himself or by any partner, any share or interest in any firm or company carrying on the business of manufacture, sale or hire of machinery, plant, equipment, apparatus or fittings for the treatment of sewage or trade effluents, or is a director or a secretary, manager or other salaried officer or employee of any company or firm having any contract with the Board, is disqualified from being appointed to the Board.


Knowing about these conflict of interests, Mr. Thimmaiah resigned from his previous position on June 12, 2020, and submitted his application to the post of KSPCB chairperson on August 8, 2020, it was alleged in the petition.

It has been claimed in the petition that many of the companies with which he was associated with had direct relationship with the functioning of the KSPCB.

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