Taking up a public interest litigation challenging the appointment of 21 chief parliamentary secretaries (CPSs), the Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday issued notices to the Punjab government as well as the CPSs for July 3.
The CPSs include 17 Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLAs - Balbir Singh Ghunas, Chaudhary Nand Lal, Sohan Singh Thandal, Desraj Dhugga, Mantar Singh Brar, Harmeet Singh Sandhu, Mohinder Kaur Josh, Avinash Chander, Inderbir Singh Bolaria, Gurbachan Singh Babbehali, Virsa Singh Valtoha, Amarpal Singh Bonny, Pawan Kumar Tinu, Parkash Chand Garg, Sarup Singla, NK Sharma and F Nisara Khatoon - and BJP MLAs KD Bhandari, Amarjit Singh Sahi, Som Parkash and Navjot Kaur Sidhu.
In his petition, advocate Jagmohan Singh Bhatti had sought quashing of the appointment of CPSs, alleging that it was illegal and unconstitutional. The petitioner pointed out that the CPSs had been appointed despite the fact that no such post existed under the Constitution or under any statute or Act passed by Parliament or any state legislature.
The petitioner has also sought directions to the state not to bear the expenses of CPSs as the appointments were in violation of the 91st amendment (2004) of the Constitution, and also to withdraw all facilities extended to them.