GIVING A new twist to the stand-off between Raj Bhawan and the Allahabad High Court, the State Government on Wednesday appointed Vijay Verma as the new legal advisor to Governor TV Rajeswar.
As the appointment has been made without the Governor’s consent, Raj Bhawan is in no mood to allow Verma to join as legal advisor. The Governor’s additional legal advisor Pradeep Dubey continues to hold his post in Raj Bhawan, despite the Allahabad High Court’s decision to place him under suspension. Raj Bhawan has refused to recognise the HC’s suspension order.
Taking strong exception to what is being termed as the unilateral appointment of Vijay Verma, Raj Bhawan has shot off a letter to the State Government, asking it to cancel the notification issued regarding Verma’s appointment on June 20.
Raj Bhawan’s contention is that since the Governor has not given his consent to Verma’s appointment, it may be cancelled.
Soon after Raj Bhawan’s letter was received at the Secretariat, senior State Government officials went into a huddle.
Taking note of the HC order to place him under suspension, the State Government, on its part, has already relieved Dubey. According to sources, the State Government has issued the notification regarding Verma’s appointment on the basis of the HC orders. The HC had sent Verma’s name to Raj Bhawan when the Governor made a request for a panel of officers.
The Raj Bhawan insisted that instead of forwarding a single name, the HC should send a panel for the Governor’s consideration. However, the Allahabad High Court appears to be in no mood to forward any panel. Registrar general Swatantra Singh has said that the HC selected Vijay Verma’s name from a list of 39 officers, who had opted for the post. Verma was an outstanding officer, hence his name was forwarded, said the registrar general. For now, the stand-off between the Raj Bhawan and the High Court continues.
Meanwhile, the State Government is yet to take a view on Raj Bhawan’s letter asking it to quash Verma’s appointment. This has given yet another new twist to the Raj Bhawan-HC stand-off that has assumed a triangular dimension, thanks to a contradictory view taken by the State Government. CB Pandey, former legal advisor to the Governor, said the stand-off was surprising. The Governor was the appointing authority of his legal advisor, he said.
When all the appointments of senior officers, including judicial officers, were made in his name, the Governor should also have the right to select his legal advisor, he said. Another former judicial officer said appointment of the additional legal advisor had been made on the recommendation of the HC with the consent of the Governor. Hence, the consent of both was mandatory to remove the officer and place him under suspension, he said.