Punjab to appeal against HC order on CPSs

Punjab to appeal against HC order on CPSs

Chandigarh, Aug 14 (IANS) The Punjab government directed the Advocate General office to examine and “take appropriate action” against the Punjab and Harayan High Court order quashing the appointment of legislators as Chief Parliamentary Secretaries (CPSs), officials said on Sunday.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said the state government would appeal to the Supreme Court against the high court verdict that the appointment CPSs in the state was “unconstitutional”.

“The state government is examining the verdict given by the Punjab and Haryana High Court and an appeal would be filed in the pex court against this decision. The Chief Minister has asked the Advocate General of state to study the entire judgement and take appropriate action as per legal provisions within the ambit of law,” the officials said.

A division bench of Justice S.S. Saron and Justice Ramendra Jain gave the ruling on the appointment of the Chief Parliamentary Secretaries on Friday while hearing the two petitions filed four years ago.

The petitioners, both lawyers, contended that the appointment of CPSs by the Badal government was “unconstitutional”.

They pointed out that the state was spending lakhs of rupees of public money for paying the salaries, perks and facilities of the CPSs.

The high court order setting aside the appointment of 18 CPSs came six months ahead of the assembly elections in Punjab and has left the state government embarrassed.

The CPS is a post one step lower than a minister, and the ruling party legislators are appointed to these posts by various state governments to accommodate legislators since all cannot be made ministers due to a statutory ceiling allows only 15 per cent of members of the assembly to be given ministerial berths.

The CPSs appointments were made by the Badal government four years ago after it assumed office in Punjab for a second five-year term in March 2012.

The petitioner lawyers contended that the appointment of CPSs by the Badal government was “unconstitutional”. They pointed out that the state was spending lakhs of rupees of public money on paying for the salaries, perks and facilities of these CPSs.

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