Punjab and Haryana High Court notice to Centre on plea against 8 MLAs’ appointment as ministers : The Tribune India

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Punjab and Haryana High Court notice to Centre on plea against 8 MLAs’ appointment as ministers

Council of ministers exceeding 15% of the total strength of the House: Petitioner

Punjab and Haryana High Court notice to Centre on plea against  8 MLAs’ appointment as ministers


Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday issued notice of motion to the Union government, among others, on a petition filed in public interest challenging the appointment of eight MLAs as ministers. This, the petitioner submitted, was “in violation of the Constitutional Amendment”.

In his petition placed before the Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gurmeet Singh Sandhawalia and Judge Lapita Banerji, petitioner-advocate Jagmohan Singh Bhatti submitted that the council of ministers in a state could not exceed 15 per cent of the “total number of the Legislative Assembly of that State”. Bhatti said in the present case, it was exceeding 15 per cent of the total strength of the House.

Seeking the quashing of the appointments, he added that it was illegal, unconstitutional, arbitrary and a burden on the public exchequer.

Bhatti said the appointments were also a “setback to the austerity drive in the eyes of law as the swearing in ceremony of the Chief Minister is illegal”. This is the second petition filed in the matter by the PIL petitioner.

Bhatti had earlier moved the high court seeking directions for quashing the appointments of five other cabinet ministers — Kanwarpal Gujjar, Moolchand Sharma, Ranjit Singh, JP Dalal and Dr Banwari Lal.

Bhatti contended: “The total strength of the House is 90 MLAs. By way of appointment of CM Naib Singh Saini, it exceeds the limit of 90 MLAs, which is not permissible in any manner. Hence, the appointment is illegal and void.”

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