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SC/ST Act row: Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha demands removal of Justice Goyal as NGT chief

By Vikas

New Delhi, July 29: The dissent over Justice (retd) AK Goyal's appointment as National Green Tribunal (NGT) chairman seems to be gaining momentum with Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha becoming the latest to voice his objection.

Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha demands removal of Justice Goyal as NGT chief (Image courtesy - ANI/Twitter)

Goyal was one judges who laid down guidelines to protect public servants and private employees from "arbitrary" arrest under the 1989 Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Opposing the amendment, Dalit activists had argued that it would dilute the Act and take away the legal protection offered to SC/ST people from discrimination.

"We are assuring people that we won't let them suffer because of Justice Goyal's decision (on SC/ST Act), but his appointment as NGT chairman has sent a very wrong message. I support the demand of his removal from the post of NGT chairman," news agency ANI quoted Upendra Kushwaha as saying.

Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale had on Saturday said that Justice AK Goyal had delivered wrong judgment on SC/ST Atrocities act and it would be inappropriate to appoint him as NGT chairman. Athawale said that even though he is the part of NDA, he demands Goyal's removal from the post.

Earlier Ram Vilas Paswan and his son Chirag Paswan had written to Rajnath Singhand Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking them to oppose the appointment of Goyal as National Green Tribunal (NGT) chairman and warning about fierce protests around Justice's judgement on SC/ST Atrocities Act.

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