The appointments of six Chief Parliamentary Secretaries (CPS) of the Himachal government may come under threat. BJP is preparing to file a petition before the Himachal Pradesh High Court regarding their appointments.
Supreme Court has termed the Assam and Manipur Parliamentary Secretaries Act as unconstitutional. Based on this decision of the Supreme Court, BJP will fight a legal battle in the High Court.
Narendra Thakur, former Deputy Advocate General in BJP government said that preparations are on to challenge these appointments on the lines of the Assam and Manipur Parliamentary Secretaries Act. He told that the Supreme Court has declared the act made for the appointment of parliamentary secretaries in Assam and Manipur as unconstitutional. On 26 July 2017, the Supreme Court declared the Assam Parliamentary Secretaries Act 2004 as unconstitutional in the case of Bimolangshu Rai vs. State of Assam.
Following this decision, the Manipur government amended the Parliamentary Secretaries (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2012 in the year 2018. The Act was also declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last year in the case of State of Manipur Vs Surja Kumar Okram. He told that in Himachal too the appointments of Chief Parliamentary Secretaries were quashed by the High Court in the year 2005 terming them unconstitutional.
Thereafter, the Himachal Government enacted the Parliamentary Secretaries (Appointment, Salary, Allowances, Powers, Privileges and Facilities) Act, 2006. Under this, the present government has appointed 6 Chief Parliamentary Secretaries. Among them, Sanjay Awasthi from Arki Assembly Constituency, Sundar Singh from Kullu, Ram Kumar from Doon, Mohan Lal Brakta from Rohru, Ashish Butail from Palampur and Kishori Lal from Baijnath have been made Chief Parliamentary Secretaries.
Narendra Thakur has informed that all the Chief Parliamentary Secretaries are posted on posts of profit, who are paid Rs 2,20,000 per month as salary and allowances. He pointed out that as per the judgment of the apex court, the legislature does not have the power to pass an act against the court’s decision. Taking the decision of the Supreme Court as the basis, a petition will be filed before the High Court to repeal the Himachal Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary, Allowances, Powers, Privileges and Facilities) Act, 2006.