HP Govt moves SC in CPS appointment matter: files transfer petition
Shimla, Nov 2
The Himachal Pradesh government has moved Supreme Court in the matter of appointment of Chief Parliamentary Secretary (CPS). Advocate Satyapal Jain, who is representing this case in the High Court on behalf of the BJP MLAs, said that the transfer petition would be heard in the Supreme Court on Friday. The top court of the country would hear the transfer petition filled by the respondent State seeking transfer of the three different matters pertianing against appointment of the CPS and Deputy CM from the High Court to Supreme court.
The state government has filed a petition to transfer this case to the Supreme Court as several others petitions related to other states including Chattisgarh, Punjab, Assam and Goa are also pending in the Apex court.
Interestingly the State government move comes two days before the hearing of CPS appointment matter listed in the Himachal High Court on Saturday.
In the last hearing, Himachal government had sought time for debate from the High Court. Then it was argued that a senior advocate from Delhi would argue the case on behalf of the state. In this case, the petitioner’s lawyers have completed their arguments in the High Court.
Himachal government has notified six CPS and a Dy CM. Retailating the appointment 11 BJP MLAs, a NGO People for Responsible Governance organizatio(PERGO) and a woman have challenged in the court. In the petition, the appointment of CPS has been termed as unconstitutional. It is alleged that the government is aware that the Supreme Court has declared the Act made for the appointment of Parliamentary Secretary in Assam and Manipur illegal. Despite this, Himachal government has appointed CPS.
Also adding that all the CPS are posted on profitable positions and are 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.
The PERGO has alleged in the petition that the appointment of CPS is contrary to the provisions of law. These people are getting the same salary and other facilities as the ministers. According to the amendment made in Article 164 of the Indian Constitution, the number of ministers in any state cannot 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.
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 are the currently appointed CPS by the State government.
Deputy Chief minister Mukesh Agnihotri and seniors officers of Rajbhavan, state government have also been made party in the petition by the 11 BJP MLAs. Dy Chief minister had filled a application in the Himachal Pradesh High court to strike down his name as a party. But High court on October 16 rejected the Dy CM’s plea and directed that he could not be removed party as the petitioner has given sufficient material on the record to challenge the state appointment of Dy CM and CPS and matter would be fixed for hearing on November 4 after Dusshera holiday.
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