Questioning the appointment of Shashank Shekhar Singh, who is not an IAS officer, as Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Secretary, the Supreme Court today said there have to be rules and regulations for such crucial postings.
A bench of justice BS Chauhan and justice TS Thakur said people like Sam Pitroda, who are having expertise in technical field, are appointed as adviser but for the posts like that of cabinet secretary, there have to be proper procedures.
"If someone is an expert in a field like computer and who has done exceptionally well in his field, like Sam Pitroda, he can be appointed as adviser but for these posts (Cabinet Secretary etc), there have to be rules and regulations," the bench said.
"How can you pick up someone and appoint him to the post? There have to be rules and regulations," it said.
The bench made the remarks while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging Singh's appointment as UP Cabinet Secretary by the Mayawati government and seeking his removal on the ground that he is not an officer belonging to the Indian Administrative Service.
The apex court had earlier sought replies of the Centre and the Mayawati government on the PIL filed by Uttar Pradesh resident Harish Chandra Pandey.
In his petition, Pandey has said that although Singh did not belong to the IAS cadre, he has been occupying the post, which traditionally has been held by the cadre.
"He was initially appointed as a pilot in the government of Uttar Pradesh in 1979 and was promoted as Director of Civil Aviation (in the state) in 1982. Thereafter, Singh was posted on various cadre posts of the Indian Administrative Service," the petition has said.
It has said that neither the state government nor the Centre has taken any step to end the "absolutely illegal usurpation of office".