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16 September, 2005

Parliamentary Secretaries' case: notice to Punjab

The Tribune
Chandigarh, September 15: The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion for October 27 on the petition filed by Mr Anter Singh Brar, a BJP leader, seeking directions to the Punjab Government to remove Parliamentary Secretaries.
Taking up the petition, the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Mr Justice D.K. Jain and Mr Justice Hemant Gupta also issued notice to the Punjab Chief Minister and the Parliamentary Secretaries.
The Bench also took on record the recent judgement of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, quashing the appointment of the Parliamentary Secretaries.
During hearing, Senior Advocate Satya Pal Jain, counsel for the petitioner, stated that the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries a drain on the exchequer and was illegal as no such post existed under the Constitution. He said though the 91st amendment to the Constitution restricted the number of ministers in Punjab to not more than 18, the Chief Minister, because of political reasons, appointed 12 MLAs as Parliamentary Secretaries all of whom have been given rank of Deputy Minister. This way, crores of rupees were being wasted, Mr Jain asserted.
He also maintained that there was no legal sanction to the post. Mr Jain also quoted the Himachal Pradesh High Court judgement in the matter.
Hearing will now resume on October 27.