New Delhi: A petition moved in Supreme Court challenging the appointment of Shashank Shekhar Singh as the Cabinet Secretary in the Uttar Pradesh government was withdrawn on Friday.
As per report, the petitioner Sandeep Pandey withdrew his plea after the apex court observed that the petition was not maintainable since the Allahabad High Court was already dealing with the controversy.
On July 15, the apex court had adjourned till today the hearing on Pandey’s plea challenging Mayawati government`s appointment of Singh to the post.
The apex court had also asked the state government to clarify under what rules a non-civil servant was appointed as Cabinet Secretary.
A bench of justices VS Sirpurkar and TS Thakur asked senior counsel Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for the state, "under what rules has he (Shashank) been appointed? Do the rules permit such an appointment?
In his submission to the apex court, Dwivedi submitted Shashank was appointed in conformity with the relevant rules and offered to place the material in support of it.
The petitioner had challenged the validity of Shashank`s appointment on the ground that he was neither an IAS nor a state cadre officer, which was an essential eligibility for the appointment to the post.
It was alleged that Shashank was a former pilot and had no prior civil service experience to occupy the post.
Singh was appointed cabinet secretary soon after Mayawati was sworn in as chief minister on May 13, 2007. Singh was also given the status of a cabinet minister.
The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court is also dealing with another PIL challenging Shashank`s appointment.
The PIL in the High Court has been filed by one Shiv Prakash Shukla, which contends that the post may overshadow and undermine the post of the chief secretary, who is governed by the All India Service Rules.
It argues the accountability of the cabinet secretary’s decisions, which will have financial implications, had not been fixed.