Himachal High Court issues notice to six CPS of Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government

Himachal Pradesh High Court on Friday taking cognizance of the public interest litigation issued notices to six Chief Parliamentary Secretaries appointed by the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government recently.

A division bench of Justice Sandeep Sharma and Justice Virender Singh was hearing a PIL  on Friday which challenged the appointment of Chief Parliamentary Secretaries. 

Fixing the hearing in the matter on May 19 The court issued notices to six Chief Parliamentary Secretaries (CPS) of the state government and sought their response within three weeks.  

The PIL was filed by a civil rights group ‘ People for Responsible Governance. The petitioner made six CPS, Chief Secretary, and Principal Secretary Finance parties in the petition. The notices were issued against the CPS Sanjay Awasthi from Arki assembly constituency, Sunder Singh from Kullu, Ram Kumar from Doon, Mohan Lal Brakta from Rohru, Ashish Butail from Palampur and Kishori Lal.

 Earlier to this same Petitioner has filed a similar Petition before the High Court alleging that even the CM could appoint them as per the Constitution.  These appointments would put an additional burden of more than 10 crores annually on the state exchequer.

 Petitioner has alleged in the petition that the appointment of Chief Parliamentary Secretaries is contrary to the provisions of the law.  These people are taking salaries 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 which was also held illegal by the court. 

According to the amendment made in Article 164 of the Indian Constitution, the number of ministers in any state could not exceed 15 percent of the total number of legislators. 

 After the appointment of Chief Parliamentary Secretaries in the state, the number of ministers has increased by more than 15 percent, therefore the appointment of Chief Parliamentary Secretaries should be canceled.

  The State High Court has already termed the appointments of Chief Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Secretaries as unconstitutional in one case, the petitioner added.

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