Chandigarh, September 10
A day after the state government appointed six MLAs as advisers to the CM, their appointments were today challenged before the Punjab and Haryana High Court. One of the grounds for challenging the impugned orders is its issuance by an authority not constitutionally competent.
In his petition filed in public interest, advocate Jagmohan Singh Bhatti has, stated that the impugned orders have been issued illegally, arbitrarily and in violation of the constitutional provisions. “It is submitted that the Chief Secretary of Punjab has no authority to issue such orders in the specific provisions of the Constitution,” Bhatti has submitted.
He said the Constitution regulates the size of the ministry and empowers only the Governor of Punjab to issue such orders. The orders invite action for offenses under the criminal laws and amount to corrupt practices as the state is accountable towards its people. The petition, as of now, has only been filed with the High Court registry and is yet to come up for hearing.
Bhatti has also stated that that the expansion would violate 15 per cent ceiling on ministers’ appointment in accordance with the 91st constitutional amendment. “The Council of Ministers shall not exceed 15 per cent of the total number of the Legislative Assembly of that state. In the present case, it exceeds 15 per cent of the total strength of the House…. The respondent state of Punjab has flouted the Constitutional amendment,” Bhatti added.
He said the expenses for the oath ceremony, monthly salary and other perks too would have to be borne by the state, which was a burden on the exchequer. —TNS
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