In an embarrassment to the Punjab government,the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday quashed service rules framed by the then Assembly Speaker,Nirmal Singh Kahlon,for employees of the Vidhan Sabha Secretariat in 2007. The rules framed by the Speaker in the manner mentioned is unknown to law and is not in conformity with Article 187 of the Constitution. Therefore,these rules have no sanctity of law. Accordingly,we quash these rules as ultra vires the Article 187 of Constitution, the court said,adding that the Speaker cannot frame such rules.
The directions have been passed on a joint petition filed by Vidhan Sabha employees. They had claimed that while service rules were framed by the Speaker,the competent authority was in fact the Governor and,therefore,these rules are without jurisdiction and null and void.
The Vidhan Sabha counsel,on the other hand,said: No specific procedure to frame the service rules of the staff of a legislature was prescribed in Article 187 of the Constitution and,therefore,it was open for the Speaker to resort to some procedure prevalent in the state legislature.