Appointment of six CPS High Court Himachal Pradesh issues notice to state 

Himachal Pradesh High court today issued the notice to State of Himachal Pradesh for appointment of six chief Parliamentary Secretaries (CPSs) in violation of Apex court order which had declared such appointment illegal and unconstitutional. A petition was filed before the division bench of justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Verinder Singh by a civil rights group People of responsible Governance. and court has fixed the matter for further hearing on April 21. The petitioner  challenged the recent appointment of six Chief Parliamentary Secretaries by the State Government. Taking cognizance of the matter Himachal Pradesh   High Court has issued a notice to the state  summoned its reply.  PFRG  has also urged the court to also arrayed all six Chief Parliamentary Secretaries as respondents in the petition.   The petitioner had also challenged the Himachal Parliamentary Secretaries (Appointment, Salary, Allowances, Powers, Privileges and Facilities) Act, 2006 in the year 2016.  Till now this matter is pending before the High Court.  The petitioner had also made the then nine Chief Parliamentary Secretaries as respondents.  Petitioner stated that  old government had changed in the state and new Chief Parliamentary Secretaries Sanjay Awasthi from Arki assembly constituency, Sundar Singh from Kullu, Ram Kumar from Doon, Mohan Lal Barakta from Rohru, Ashish Butel from Palampur and Kishori Lal from Baijnath should be made respondents in the application.  The petitioner also  argued before the court in the petition that the legislation passed by the Himachal Pradesh in 2006 for the appointment of Himachal is identical to the Assam Parliamentary Secretaries Act . The petitioner  also alleged that the state was fully aware that the Supreme Court verdict under which such appointment of parliamentary secretaries in Assam and Manipur was declared illegal and unconstitutional by the Apex court. petitioner pleaded that despite this, state has appointed Chief Parliamentary Secretaries. It has been alleged that all Chief Parliamentary Secretaries are posted on posts of profit, which are paid Rs 2,20,000 per month as salary and allowances.  The petition has also sought to declare  Himachal Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary, Allowances, Powers, Privileges and Facilities) Act, 2006 ultra vire to the constitution as court have power to review this legislation. 

 The PFRG has alleged in the petition that the appointment of CPPs is contrary to the provisions of the law.  These people are taking salary and other facilities equal to the ministers, which is contrary to the decision already issued by the State High Court in a case. ” Not only this, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has also held the appointment of parliamentary secretaries illegal.” Petitioner stated.  According to the amendment made in Article 164 of the Indian Constitution, the number of ministers in any state cannot exceed 15 p c of the total number of legislators.  Seeking declaring such appointment against the constitutional provisions of limited size of council of ministers petitioner said that by appointment six CPSs in the state, the number of ministers has exceed limit of 15 percent should be quashed the appointment in violation of prevailing law provisions.

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