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Writ Of Quo Warranto Can’t Be Issued Unless Appointment Violates Statutory Provisions: Karnataka HC

The Karnataka High Court set aside a petition filed by a postgraduate law student questioning an appointment of the Chairman of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board. This was seen in the case of PUSHPA B. GAVADI v. THE GOVERNMENT OF KARNATAKA (Case NO: W.P. NO.22546 OF 2021) and the judgment was presided over by a division bench of acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty.

Facts of the case-

In the present case, the Petitioner had contended that two months prior to his nomination, Thimmaiah was the Director of Metamorphosis Lab Private Limited and Mahrishi Ores Private Limited and therefore, in view of bar contained in Section 6(1)(e) of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, he cannot be nominated as Chairman on grounds of conflict of interest.

The Additional Advocate General opposed and submitted that  Thimmaiah’s name was recommended in view of ‘guidelines for nomination, terms and conditions of service of Chairman, Members and appointment of Member Secretary of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board’ framed in compliance with the Supreme Court directions in Techi Tagi Tara v. Rajendra Singh Bhandari & Ors. It was contended that at the time of his selection, Thimmaiah did not suffer from any disqualification.

Judgement-

The High Court had noted, the Supreme Court in Techi Tagi Tara directed the state government to frame appropriate Guideline Rules in accordance with the requirement of State Pollution Control Board within a period of six months. In compliance of this direction, Government of Karnataka by an order dated 19.06.2020 framed the guidelines. Para 3 of the aforesaid guidelines provides for educational qualification, whereas, para 4 deals with age limit. Para 5 provides for the constitution of Search-cum-Selection Committee.

Finally, the bench dismissed the petition and noted that “A writ of quo warranto can be issued when the holder of public office has been appointed in violation of constitution or statutory provisions. In the instant case, the petitioner has not been able to demonstrate that respondent No.4 has been appointed in violation of any statutory provision.

 

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Judgement reviewed by Alaina Fatima.

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