Taking up a public interest litigation challenging the illegal re-appointment and regularisation of 810 panchayat secretaries whose services were earlier terminated by the Punjab government following an inquiry in 2001, the Punjab and Haryana high court has issued a notice of motion to the state government.
The division bench comprising chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain also directed the Punjab government's counsel to submit the investigation report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the case earlier.
Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Sardavinder Goyal submitted that it was the same case in which an FIR was registered at the SAS Nagar police station by the Punjab vigilance bureau against then rural development and panchayat minister Nirmal Singh Kahlon, selection committee chairman JP Singla and others on June 14, 2002, on the charges of irregularities in the selection process.
It was submitted that in July 2002, the high court had handed over the inquiry to the CBI and later, services of all panchayat secretaries were terminated in December 2002 on the court's directions. However, in February 2002, the state government re-engaged 909 panchayat secretaries; of these, 787 were regularised in January 2009 and 23 in June 2010.
The case would now come up for hearing on November 30.