IN A significant development, the Allahabad High Court has filed an application before the Supreme Court urging the latter to expedite hearing on the special leave petition filed by the Centre challenging the Allahabad HC’s verdict in the case involving Governor TV Rajeswar’s additional legal advisor PK Dubey.
The HC application, filed early this week, is the latest in the ongoing standoff between the Raj Bhawan and the High Court on the Dubey issue. A senior officer of the HC here said the Supreme Court would take up the petition next week.
Dubey, it may be recalled, continues to work as additional legal advisor in the Raj Bhawan as the Governor has refused to relieve him despite the HC transferring him as additional district judge, Ballia. Dubey was subsequently placed under suspension for not following the transfer orders.
While the Raj Bhawan has maintained that the Governor is the final authority with regard to officers posted there, the HC says it has final control over judicial officers.
Significantly, the Raj Bhawan has not interviewed the judicial officers, whose names were recently forwarded by the HC to find a replacement for Dubey. The Raj Bhawan is obviously buying time by sticking to its stand despite a five-judge HC bench order terming all communications, orders and letters emanating from the Governor’s secretariat on the Dubey issue as otiose, ineffective and inoperative. The Union Home Secretary thereafter filed the SLP before the SC on the issue.
After hearing the SLP on June 28, 2006, the apex court had asked the Allahabad High Court not to proceed further in the case.
The SC had also referred the matter to the Chief Justice of India to place the case before a larger bench as it raised some important questions of law.
Besides asking the HC not to proceed further in the case, the SC had also made observations on the tone and tenor of the letters that emanated from the Raj Bhawan on the issue.
The SC had observed that there was a communication gap between the two constitutional bodies. “The Governor should have invited the Chief Justice for dinner and sorted out the issue,” the SC had observed. “Had I been the CJ (of the High Court), I would have invited the Governor for tea to sort out the issue,” was the observation made by the SC judge during the hearing of the case. A senior officer told HT on Thursday that the Governor was not opposed to relieving Dubey. “The Governor, however, did not want to relieve Dubey as a suspended officer. Dubey’s suspension should be revoked and he should posted at Lucknow where he was initially transferred before being shifted to Ballia,” he said