Chandigarh as capital of Punjab, Haryana: HC puts Centre on notice

Updated on Aug 30, 2019 01:44 PM IST
During the hearing on Thursday, Haryana sought time to file its reply stating that matter was being examined. As for Punjab, it has failed to produce any notification in this regard. But state’s advocate general Atul Nanda had argued on August 20 that there was no requirement for separate notification.
Punjab and Haryana High Court building in Chandigarh(HT Photo)
Punjab and Haryana High Court building in Chandigarh(HT Photo)
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By, Chandigarh

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday put Centre on notice in a petition, wherein Punjab and Haryana were asked to provide notification declaring Chandigarh as the capital of the two states.

During the hearing on Thursday, Haryana sought time to file its reply stating that matter was being examined. As for Punjab, it has failed to produce any notification in this regard. But state’s advocate general Atul Nanda had argued on August 20 that there was no requirement for separate notification.

During the hearing Nanda had referred to a judgement of Supreme Court recording that Chandigarh was capital of Punjab.

However, bench observed that it was an observation and asked Nanda whether it was binding on the high court.

To this Nanda had responded that HC may not take note of the judgment where judgement was passed without referring to relevant provisions of law.

Both the states were asked on July 22 to show the notification declaring Chandigarh as the capital of the two states.

On August 20, Punjab advocate general had told court that in 1947, the capital of Punjab was shifted from Lahore to Shimla and subsequently then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru declared Chandigarh as capital of Punjab in 1950. “The Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulation) Act, 1952, defines Chandigarh as capital of Punjab. The States Reorganisation Act, 1956, does not make any changes to the 1952 arrangement.

In 1966, though Punjab Re-Organisation Act, 1966, came into being and Chandigarh was made Union Territory but the city retained its character of capital of Punjab,” the advocate general submitted before court.

PETITION OF JUDICIAL SERVICES ASPIRANT

The bench of justice RK Jain and justice Arun Kumar Tyagi had posed the query during hearing of a petition by a judicial services aspirant Phool Singh, a resident of Chandigarh. He had qualified judicial services exam of both the states and figured in the merit list prepared for the exams of both the states, under scheduled caste category.

However, he was not being considered under the reserved category by both the states objecting to his domicile of Chandigarh.

His argument was that Chandigarh being capital of both the states, he is entitled for the reservation as per a recent Supreme Court judgment delivered in medical admissions in both the states.

There is no cadre of judicial officers in Chandigarh. He has argued that he can be considered under SC reservation in Punjab or Haryana since Chandigarh was the capital of Punjab and Haryana.

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