THE SUPREME Court Friday declined to halt reinstatement of the Haryana State Commission for Women’s chairperson and vice-chairperson who were sought to be removed by the state government. A bench led by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur issued notices on Haryana government’s appeal against the order of Punjab and Haryana High Court, which had enabled Kamlesh Panchal and Suman Dahiya get reinstated as the commission chairperson and vice-chairperson, respectively.
“Prayer for stay is declined. We grant to the petitioner-State two weeks’ time to permit the respondents to join, and also to receive all salary and perks admissible to them as chairperson and vice-chairperson of the Haryana State Commission for Women,” the court ruled.
Randeep Singh Surjewala, who appeared for Panchal and Dahiya, accepted the notices and agreed to file a counter-affidavit within four weeks. Panchal and Dahiya were appointed in May 2014 by the previous Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government in the state.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for the state government, had asserted that their continuance was not in the interest of the panel, and that the state was even willing to shell out the remuneration for the duo’s remaining tenure in case they relinquish office right away.
But the bench said it was not inclined to interfere with the High Court order. The High Court had in May set aside a notification by the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government in Haryana for removing Panchal and Dahiya. The duo had challenged the notification issued by Haryana Governor on August 4, 2015, curtailing their tenure of three years. They had also alleged “vendetta politics”.