After objections raised by the Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Khaira over nominations to the coveted appointments in the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) and the Information Commission, a meeting of the committee, which recommends these selections, has finally been called on Feb 16. For PPSC appointments, the committee comprises of the Chief Minister, Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha and the Leader of Opposition. The members for the committee to choose Information Commissioners comprise the Chief Minister, the Leader of opposition and a Cabinet minister nominated by the Chief Minister.
While no meeting of either of the two committees had been held so far, names had been selected for appointment to PPSC as well as Information Commission by circulating the file to the members of the committee. Earlier, an empowered committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, Karan Avtar Singh and with Vini Mahajan, Additional Chief Secretary Housing and Urban development and Jaspal Singh, Principal Secretary, Water Resources, had recommended six names out of 182 applications received for the six posts in PPSC.
Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira had objected to the selections being made without holding any meeting of the committee and had written to Karan Avtar Singh raising objection over the selections. Speaking to The Indian Express, Khaira said that after his strenuous objections to the ‘pick and choose’ policy being followed while selecting candidates, the meeting of high-powered committee has finally been called by the Chief Minister. “It is a victory for the stand taken by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which had objected to the bulldozing of certain undeserving candidates as members of prestigious bodies,” he said.
Sources in the government say that there is a re-think on the name of Lok Nath Angra, a retired police officer, as member of PPSC. This is on account of strong objections being raised to his name from within the Congress party, including some ministers and MLAs who have objected citing the proximity that Angra enjoyed with Akali leaders in previous regime. Fifteen persons had been initially shortlisted for the post of five members (official) for PPSC and out of these five had been further selected. These include, APS Virk, a serving IAS officer due for retirement, Gurpartap Singh Mann, Jamit Kaur Teji, Lok Nath Angra and Neelam Grewal.