The Bombay High Court on Thursday issued a notice to the state government on a public interest litigation challenging the appointment of 12 nominated members to the Legislative Council.
The petitioners, Solapur residents Birudeo Lavate and Sunil Kate, have alleged that the members were nominated merely on the basis of political considerations.
According to Article 171(3)(5) of the Constitution, nominated members have to be either experts or those with special knowledge in arts, science, literature and social service, the petitioners’ lawyer Machchindra Patil said.
But, Patil contended, in the case of the 12 nominated MLCs, the state government has neither information about their expertise or practical experience in these areas nor the names of persons who recommended their names.
Immediately after their appointment on March 13, 2008, the petitioners had filed applications under the Right to Information Act seeking these details. They, however, received replies in September 2009 stating the information was not available.
This compelled them to move the high court, the petitioners said, asking how the MLCs could have been nominated if there was no information on their expertise or experience.
Advocate Patil claimed that names of the 12 members were not even recommended by the Governor, as required by law.
Because of such political appointments, he added, people from the world of arts and literature had no representation in the legislature and issued related to these subjects were not raised in the House.
A division bench of Chief Justice Anil Dave and Justice S C Dharmadhikari has given the state time till June 17 to reply to the PIL.