The petitions challenging the appointment of chief parliamentary secretaries (CPSes) of Punjab as well as Haryana, pending in the Punjab and Haryana high court since 2007, could not be heard on Tuesday as the division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Augustine George Masih transferred it to be heard by another court.
The court headed by justice Jasbir Singh would now hear the petitions on October 7. The court refused to hear the case as justice Masih had earlier appeared as the Punjab government counsel in the case.
During the hearing of the case on Tuesday, senior Supreme Court advocates AK Ganguly (appearing for Punjab) and Raju Ramachandran, defending the Haryana government, were present in the court.
There are 20 CPSes in Punjab and 11 in Haryana. The petitioners had pointed out that CPSes had been appointed despite the fact that no such post exists under the Constitution or under any statue or Act passed by Parliament or any state legislature.
The court had been informed that in 2005, the Himachal Pradesh high court had set aside the appointments of parliamentary secretaries, stating it as unconstitutional, and later similar orders were passed by the Bombay high court.