The Punjab government has submitted in the Punjab and Haryana high court that the court cannot issue directions to a rule-making authority about the time frame or the method for framing rules.
The submissions by the government were made during the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking the issuance of appropriate directions to the state government to frame recruitment rules for staff of the state human rights commission. The government placed copies of the finalised draft recruitment rules for group A/B/C staff of the commission before a division bench of the HC. A letter enclosed dated July 11, 2014, sent by the superintendent, personnel, to the chief secretary, home affairs and law department, states “no mandamus can be issued by the court to a rule-making authority to make rules either within a specific time or in a particular manner.”
“The court made a patent error in directing the rule-making authority to make rules within a period of six months,” the letter adds.
The counsel for the petitioner employees of the commission, HC Arora, said the finalised draft recruitment rules revealed that the state government intended to retain with it the power of appointing authority, though the contention of the counsel for existing employees was that it was only the commission chairperson who was to be the appointing authority of commission employees, under Section 27 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
The case has been adjourned for further hearing on February 26.