The Delhi High Court has dismissed a PIL challenging a decision of the President to appoint Saryu V Doshi as one of the three members of a search committee,constituted to shortlist three names for heading Lalit Kala Akademi.
“… As the ultimate decision is left to the President of India,such a decision cannot be found fault with unless a nominee is not eligible to be nominated in the Search Committee,” Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.
The court’s decision came on the PIL filed by Prasanta Kalita,an artiste who has been working with the Akademi here for the past 10 years.
Kalita had claimed that under the rules,Doshi,a former pro-term chairman of the Akademi,cannot be appointed by the President as one of the members of the Search Committee,formed to shortlist names of three persons.
“In terms of of Constitution/Memorandum of Association,only a past chairman could be nominated as one of the members of the Search Committee by the President,” the PIL said,adding Doshi was only the pro-term chairman of the Akademi.
Out of three shortlisted candidates,one would be appointed as the chairperson of the Akademi.
Chief Justice Murugesan,writing the judgement,rejected the contention saying,”The Memorandum of Association empowers the appointment of a pro-term chairman who will be entitled to discharge,inter alia,all the functions of the chairman in terms of Clause 5(iv).
“There appears to be also no clause restricting the powers of pro-term chairman to discharge the functions of chairman.”
The selection process began by appointing members to the search committee to shortlist three names,out of them,one would succeed Ashok Vajpayee.
Out of three members of the search committee,the petition challenged the name of Doshi on the ground that she was only a pro-term chairperson.
“The limited role of the Search Committee is only to draw up a panel of three names in alphabetical order and submit the same to the President of India who shall appoint one of the three names in the panel as the Chairman of the Akademi,” the court said while dismissing the PIL.