HP Public Service Commission Chairman appointment

HPPSC Chairman and Member illegally appointed by intentionally violating SC orders: RTI

SHIMLA-SHIMLA-One of the biggest reason for deteriorated working culture of Himachal Pradesh Government is cited to be excess indulgence in nepotism while making appointments to to positions. Conduction of politically biased appointments are motivated by intention to reward or please bureaucrats personally loyal to the party or the ministers on high ranks such as Chairmen and Directors.

Earlier, the Government was dragged into court over arbitrary appointment of Chief Secretary VC Pharka. In a petition filed before Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in which petitioners, two IAS officers of 1982 batch, Deepak Sanan and Vineet Chawdhary, had alleged arbitrary appointment of Chief Secretary by superseding four senior candidates and without forming any screening committee. The petition said the government clearly violated directions of the Supreme Court given in a 2012 case.

Similarly, appointment of Kuldeep Singh Pathania as the Chairman of HP Pollution Control was challenged in the court. The National Green Tribunal had recently asked Pathania to stop functioning as the Chairman of HP PCB after a petition was filed by a resident of Uttarakhand alleging that the posts of chairmen in several states are being filled without requisite qualification.

As expected, the State Government easily obtained a stay on NGT order through High Court. HC said the tribunal is surpassing its jurisdiction.

Now, an RTI filed by an activist has revealed that HP Government has repeated same attitude in alleged illegal appointment of Member and Chairman of HP Public Service Commission by violating the Supreme Court orders.

The activist has written to the Chief Justice of HP High Court, and has requested to issue contempt notice to the government as the Government deliberately put aside the mandatory directions in these appointments.

The activist Dev Ashish Bhattacharya has also appealed the Governor, Devvrat Acharya, to dismiss the recent appointments of Smt. Member Meera Walia and the Chairman Major Gen. (Rtd.) Dharam Vir Singh Rana as they stand in gross violation of apex court directions in the Civil Appeal no. 7640 of 2011 titled as State of Punjab v/s Salil Sabhlok.

According to the Civil Appeal mentioned above, two judges of the apex court had given concurrent judgments. As per para 111 of Madan B. Lokur’s judgment passed on February 15, 2013,

Given the experience in the making of such appointment, these is no doubt that until the State Legislature enacts an appropriate law, the State of Punjab must step in and take urgent steps to frame a memorandum of procedure and administrative guidelines for the selection and appointment of the Chairperson and members of the Punjab Public Service Commission, so that the possibility of arbitrary appointments is eliminated.

From that day, it has attained the status of the Law of the Land, said the activist in his petition .

He further said in the letter that the HP Government was duty bound to enact an appropriate law through State Legislature. Government should have stepped in to frame a memorandum of procedure and administrative guidelines for the selection and appointment of the chairperson and Members of Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission. However, the State Government or the Legislative Assembly enacted any law or framed any memorandum of procedure and administrative guidelines for the selection of the Chairman and Members of HPPSC.

Therefore, these appointments are deliberate act of the contempt of court.

I have also requested Smt. Meera Walia and Major General (Rtd) Dharam Vir Singh Rana to resign from their posts immediately because they are appointed illegally by the HP Govt by violating the orders of the Supreme Court. I have requested both of them to go through the para 111 of the order given by Justice Madan B. Lokur and understand that their appointment is bad in the eyes of law and contemptuous in nature

, said Dev Ashish Bhattacharya in a statement to Himachal Watcher.

The RTI activist has also requested the Advocate General of Himachal Pradesh, Shravan Dogra, to bring the position of the law into the notice of the Governor and the Chief Minister by way of his legal opinion, so that they are able to take necessary corrective actions on the illegal actions taken by them.

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