Supreme Court docket: Prior expression of views no bar on panel appointments

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 19

Amid controversy over recusal of BKU leader Bhupinder Singh Mann from the Supreme Court-appointed four-member committee to talk to farmers agitating against farm laws, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde on Tuesday said prior expression of views not a disqualification for someone being appointed panel member.

Merely because a person has expressed a view on the matter was not a disqualification to be a committee member, Bobde said while hearing a case against physical hearing in the Delhi High Court.

As the court talked about appointing Siddharth Luthra amicus curiae in the case, the senior advocate said he had endorsed a statement supporting virtual hearing.

“How is this disqualification? Just because a person has expressed his views on the matter is no ground for disqualification from the committee. Generally, there is peculiar lack of comprehension about the constitution of a committee. They are not judges,” the CJI said. “We are talking of a general misunderstanding. Committee members are not judges. They can change their views,” he said.

NGT panel report on Yamuna pollution sought

The SC on Tuesday asked for a report from a National Green Tribunal committee on improving the water quality of the Yamuna and the action taken on its recommendations. A Bench asked for the report after amicus curiae and senior advocate Meenakshi Arora said the NGT-appointed panel had been monitoring the cleaning of the river.

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