Was leader of oppn consulted on RTS panel appointments, HC asks Punjab govt
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday asked the Punjab government to clarify whether it consulted leader of opposition in Vidhan Sabha Charanjit Singh Channi on appointments to the state Right to Service (RTS) Commission.punjab Updated: Oct 08, 2016 10:45 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday asked the Punjab government to clarify whether it consulted leader of opposition in Vidhan Sabha Charanjit Singh Channi on appointments to the state Right to Service (RTS) Commission.
The high court bench of justice SS Saron and justice Lisa Gill asked state’s counsel Parminder Pal Singh Theti to seek instructions by the next date of hearing on October 25.
The court was hearing a petition filed by lawyer Yagyadeep, following an HT September 17 report: “Cash-strapped Badal govt to park 7 more commissioners on RTS panel”. The petitioner has sought quashing of these appointments alleging they were illegal and arbitrary and were made in contravention of the Right to Service Act.
The appointments of Lakhwinder Singh Lakhi, Jagmeet Kaur Sandhu, Jagdeep Singh Cheema, Nimrit Kaur, Kamaldeep Bhandari, Pankaj Kumar and Rajinder Parsad Mittal at were notified on September 29.
The court was told that four of the seven appointees were members of the ruling Akali Dal and one was a former president of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of BJP. “These individuals are neither retired government officials nor experts in the field of public administration and are also not people of public eminence. The only qualification they acquire is that they are members of the Akali Dal or BJP,” the court was told, adding that commission should not be used as a political tool to placate “disgruntled political people”, nor should it be used to accommodate “members and relatives” of any political party.
Patwalia argued that the leader of opposition had the right to either agree with the appointments or give reasons for disagreement. The purpose of having the consultation provision is to have checks and balances and to prevent the governing political dispensation to act in a whimsical and arbitrary manner, but government chose not to consult the leader of opposition, who has come out in open stating so. Thus provision of consultation with the leader of opposition Charanjit Singh Channi has also been violated, he added.