Hearing on CPS case deffered for next week in Supreme court
Shimla, Nov 3,
The Superme court deferred the hearing of CPS case for next week as the matter was fixed for hearing before the apex court today. Double Bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice SVN Bhatti in the court number -3 of SC listed the matter today. The state government moved in the SC with a Transfer petition seeking to club three cases related to appointment of CPS pending in Himachal Pradesh High court with similar petitions pending before the Supreme court of India related to state of Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Punjab.
Senior Counsel Satpal Jain was present in SC . He informed that court listed the matter for hearing twice but but the counsel for Himachal government, could not appear in the matter and now has been postponed the hearing for the next week.
It is worthwhile to mention that same matter was also listed for hearing in the Himachal High Court tomorrow ( on Saturday).
In the last hearing, Himachal government had sought time for file rebuttal against the argument presented by the petitioners in the High Court. The counsel for the state and advocate general has submitted before the division bench of Justice Vivek Singh Thakur and justice Bipin Chander Negi that a senior advocate from Delhi would argue the case on behalf of the state. In this case, the petitioner’s lawyers have completed the arguments in the High Court.
Himachal government has appointed six CPS. MLA Sanjay Awasthi from Arki, Sundar Singh Thakur from Kullu, Ram Kumar from Doon, Mohan Lal Barakta from Rohru, Ashish Butel from Palampur and Kishori Lal from Baijnath as CPS.
Among the three matters pending before the High court are of 11 BJP MLAs, People for Responsible Governance organization and a woman those who challenged the CPS appointment.
In the petition, the appointment of CPS has been termed as unconstitutional and against the article 164. According to the amendment in Article 164 of the Indian Constitution, the number of ministers in any state could exceed 15 percent of the total number of MLAs. After the appointment of CPS in the state, the number of ministers has increased by more than 15 percent. According to the organization People for Responsible Governance, the appointment of CPS should therefore be cancelled. It has been alleged that all the CPS are posted on office of profit as they are being paid Rs 2,20,000 per month as salary and allowances.
The petition has sought repeal of the Himachal Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary, Allowances, Powers, Privileges and Facilities) Act, 2006.
In the petition, Deputy Chief minister Mukesh Agnihotri and seniors officers of Rajbhavan, state government are also made party by the 11 BJP MLAs. Dy Chief minister had filled a application before the Himachal Pradesh High court to remove his name as a party. But High court on October 16 rejected the Dy CM’s plea and said that he could not be removed as petitioner has given sufficient material on record to challenge the state appointment of Dy CM.
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