New Delhi | Union minister Ramdas Athawale has demanded removal of Justice (retd) A K Goel from the post of National Green Tribunal (NGT) chairperson, alleging that the Supreme Court bench, he was a part of, had given “wrong judgment” related to the SC/ST Act.
Athawale, who is the president of the Republican Party of India, said, “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,” he said. The retired apex court judge was appointed as the chairperson of the NGT for five years on July 6. The minister of state for social justice and empowerment said he would raise the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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. Before arresting a public servant under the SC/ST Act, a preliminary probe by an officer not below the rank of deputy superintendent is a must, the court had said.
Many political parties and the people belonging to Dalit communities had opposed the judgement and held protests across the country perceiving it as the dilution of the Act.