Ex-HPSC chairman as power regulator: HC seeks Haryana’s response
The Punjab and Haryana high court has sought a response from the Haryana government on a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the appointment of former Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) chairman RK Pachnanda as the chairman of the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC).
A high court bench headed by chief justice Ravi Shanker Jha has issued notice of motion to the state government seeking a response by July 27.
Haryana’s move to appoint Pachnanda as the power regulator, which according to the legal experts was in clear contravention of Article 319 of the Constitution, was reported by HT on February 4.
The next day, Pachnanda was appointed and administered oath by the state power minister in a hurriedly convened ceremony at Haryana Niwas attended by a handful of officials.
Article 319 states that chairman of a state public service commission shall be eligible for appointment as the chairman or any other member of the Union Public Service Commission or as the chairman of any other state public service commission, but not for any other employment either under the government of India or under the government of a state.
A lawyer, Ravinder Singh Dhull, who had filed the PIL has contended that Pachnanda’s appointment was in complete contravention of Article 319 and should be quashed.
The petitioner has argued that the constitutional prohibition on further employment has been added to ensure that the public service commission act with impartiality and without any government interference as the responsibility to select prestigious civil services posts rests with the commission.
“The government can act and influence the appointments by alluring the chairman for further postings like it has been done in the present case,” the petition said.