The Supreme Court Friday declined to stay a judgment by the Punjab and Haryana High Court that had quashed the appointments of 18 Chief Parliamentary Secretaries in Punjab.
A bench led by Justice Madan B Lokur, however, issued a notice on the state government’s application for staying the operation of the judgment, apart from seeking replies from the PIL petitioners on the appeal against the main judgment.
“Issue notice on the special leave petitions as well as on the prayer for interim relief,” ordered the bench, adding that this case will be listed with a similar appeal moved by the West Bengal government last year. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi appeared for the state government whereas advocate Prashant Bhushan represented the petitioners Jagmohan Singh Bhatti and HC Arora.
On August 12, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had quashed the appointment of its 18 Chief Parliamentary Secretaries, who were appointed in April 2012. It had noted that they were acting as “junior ministers” in contravention of the Constitution’s intent to limit the council of ministers to 15 per cent of the legislature’s strength.