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Ramdas Athawale joins Ram Vilas Paswan, demands Justice Goel’s ouster from NGT


Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale has joined the bandwagon of Ram Vilas Paswan. Athawale has echoed the opinion of Paswan and demanded the removal of Justice (retd) A K Goel from National Green Tribunal (NGT) chairperson post.

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Releasing a statement on the matter on Saturday, Athawale stated that Dalits are angry on the decision of appointing Justice Goel as NGT Chief. The Union Minister also stated that he would discuss the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reports Indian Express. He said, “The appointment of Justice A K Goel is completely wrong and he should be immediately removed from the post of NGT chairman. Various Dalit MPs have already opposed the appointment.”

Sharing the same opinion, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s son Chiarag had written letter to the Prime Minister. He had stated, “To prevent a repeat of the April 2 episode (when Dalits called a nationwide protest), the government should immediately dismiss Justice A K Goel from the post of NGT chairman.” Chirag also said that appointing Justice Goel as NGT chief gives a wrong signal to the SCs  and STs.

Justice Goel was one of the judges in the bench of the Supreme Court who, along with Justice U U Lalit, ruled for provisions for a “preliminary enquiry” and an anticipatory bail clause before registration of a case under the SC/ ST Act. As soon as he retired from the apex court, he was appointed as NGT chairman.

Both Paswan and Athawale opine that Goel’s appointment would send a wrong message to the Dalits. Co-incidentally, SC/ST organisations have called for protests on August 9 and has the support of LJP’s Dalit Sena.

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