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Appointment in Rajya Sabha Secretariat: Delhi HC once again seeks Centre's reply

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday once again sought the government's response on a PIL questioning the appointment of senior officers of the rank of joint secretary and above in the Rajya Sabha (RS) Secretariat.



New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday once again sought the government's response on a PIL questioning the appointment of senior officers of the rank of joint secretary and above in the Rajya Sabha (RS) Secretariat.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath asked the government why it has not complied with its earlier direction of filing the reply and directed it to file their response within two weeks.

"Why are you not filing your counter affidavit? We would like to see your reply on the issue," the bench said while posting the matter for September 28.

The bench had on April 22 asked the Centre to file its reply on the plea.

Advocate Zubeda Begum, appearing for RS Secretariat, said that although its reply on the PIL has been filed but it needs to file an additional affidavit on some specific points.    

The bench allowed the counsel to file it in two weeks.

During the brief hearing, Advocate Prashant Bhushan appearing for petitioner NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) said there were no rules for appointment of senior officers of the rank of joint secretary and above in Rajya Sabha secretariat which cannot happen under the provisions of law.

The Rajya Sabha secretariat in its reply filed earlier in the court had said that the PIL "as framed is not maintainable and deserves to be dismissed with costs. The dispute raised in the PIL relates entirely to selections and appointments made by secretariat which is purely a service matter."

In its plea the petitioner NGO had challenged the validity of clause 6(A) of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat (Methods of Recruitment and Qualifications for Appointment) Order, 2009 and sought an order directing an inquiry into all the appointments made in Rajya Sabha Secretariat since 2008. Alleging that there was absence of rules, the petitioner
had also sought a direction to the government to follow Lok Sabha Recruitment and Conditions of Service Orders for making appointments, both through deputation and promotion, for the posts of joint secretary and above in the Rajya Sabha till the rules were framed.

The NGO had also sought direction for holding an "independent inquiry into all the discretionary appointments or appointments/selections made through deputation/absorption in violation of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat (Methods of Recruitment and Qualification for Appointments) Order, 2009 in the RS Secretariat in the last few years and also the appointment of the CEO of RS TV Channel."

Earlier, Supreme Court had asked the petitioner to approach the high court first saying, "in case the court below refused to entertain your plea, then come to us."

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