The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday stayed the termination orders of Punam Malik, former personal assistant (PA) of controversial former deputy commissioner Mohammed Shayin, from her post of secretary in the Chandigarh Market Committee.
Acting on her petition, a single-judge bench of justice Deepak Sibal issued the notice to the Chandigarh administration and stayed the May 22 order of the administration, whereby her services were terminated as secretary of the Chandigarh Marketing Committee terming it an “illegal appointment”.
She had originally been absorbed as a senior assistant in the Chandigarh State Agricultural Marketing Board and later posted as the committee secretary by the deputy commissioner.
Less than a month after having removed and repatriated Shayin to Haryana unceremoniously four months before his tenure ended, the administration had sacked her saying that she could not have been “taken on deputation” or “absorbed” in a government board from her original employer Red Cross, “which was an NGO, not a government body”.
This contention was made by Shayin’s successor SB Deepak Kumar, who holds the additional charge of the secretary, Chandigarh Marketing Board, at present.
However, Malik has contended that her termination order was “illegal” and she became the victim of “bureaucratic tussle” between the officers of the Chandigarh administration.
During her tenure with the marketing committee, its revenue shot up by 78% due to her efforts, the petitioners’ lawyer, Sanjiv Bansal told Hindustan Times.
Malik joined the Chandigarh Red Cross Society in 1996 as a steno and rose to the post of senior assistant.
She applied to an internal circular from the marketing board to fill the post of senior assistant and was “absorbed” in 2014, the petitioner submitted, arguing that while opting for a new job, it was recorded on her file by the then deputy commissioner that her “liel” (right to join back) in the parent office was retained.
After she was sacked from the market committee, she was told that she had left the job and does not “hold right to join back”, the petitioner claimed.
The petitioner had also argued that all the deputy commissioners in the past had lauded her work. The legal opinion sought on the matter by administration also worked in her favour. But still her services were terminated.
It showed she was being made “scapegoat between the fight” among officers, the petitioners told the high court.
The petitioner had challenged both the orders of the administration — her termination from the post of secretary as well as the administration denying her joining her previous post.