The appointment of two state information commissioners in Haryana, Shiv Raman Gaur and Rekha Rani, has been challenged in the Punjab and Haryana high court.
Gaur had retired as the Haryana chief minister’s additional principal secretary and Rani is the wife of chief minister’s political adviser Virender Singh.
Taking up a petition filed by Yamunanagar resident MK Sehgal, the court headed by justice Rajesh Bindal adjourned the case for October 27, to be heard with a similar petition already pending in the high court.
The petitioner, who had also applied for the post, has sought quashing of the appointments made on July 27, submitting that these appointments are in violation of the statutory provisions of the Right To Information Act, 2005. The petitioner has also requested the court to restrain the state government from advertising the third vacant post of state information commissioner.
The petitioner has submitted that even the oath of office to the two selected state information commissioners was administered by chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda himself. “Traditionally and even as per the statutory provisions of the act, the governor administers oath to commissioners as appointing authority at Raj Bhawan…The process was completed hurriedly to avoid objections by the newly appointed governor.”
The petitioner further reads, “Even the secretary of administrative reforms department, in his note to the chief minister, hinted at irregularities in the appointments, citing cutting and overwriting on the file sent to the office of the governor.”