PIL in HC challenging appointment of parliamentary secretaries

PIL in HC challenging appointment of parliamentary secretaries
A petition has been filed in the High Court of Karnataka, by Padmanabha Prasanna Kumar of the Karnataka Janata Party, questioning the State government’s notification to appoint 10 MLAs and one MLC as parliamentary secretaries. 

The petitioner has argued that as per Article 164 of the Constitution of India, the total number of ministers, including chief minister, shall not exceed 15 per cent of the total members of the Legislative Assembly of the State. The petitioner contended that there is a Council of Ministers in place and that appointing parliamentary secretaries, with benefits of minister of state (MoS), is illegal.

The petitioner further argued that the MLAs and MLCs are entitled for salary and allowances as admissible to the (MoS) under the Karnataka Ministers Salaries and Allowances Act, 1956, and appointing them as parliamentary secretaries is additional burden on the exchequer of the State. The petitioner said that the notification was issued only to facilitate the followers of chief minister at the cost of public funds.

The State government in a notification dated November 05, 2015, appointed nine MLAs and one MLC as parliamentary secretaries. Makabul S Bagavan, MLA, Vijayapura; Raju Alagur, MLA, Nagatana, Vijayapura; Dr Umesh G Jadav, MLA, Chincholi, Kalaburagi; Doddamani Ramakrishna Shidlingappa, MLA, Shirahatti, Gadag; Chennabasappa Sathyappa Shivalli, MLA, Kundagol, Dharwad; Shakunthala T Shetty, MLA, Puttur, Dakshina Kannada; C Puttarrangashetty, MLA, Chamarajanagar; HP Manjunatha, MLA, Hunsur, Mysuru; E Thukaram, MLA, Sandur, Ballari; Pramodh Madhwaraj, MLA, Udupi and K Govindraj, MLC. The petitioner has sought quashing of the notification appointing the aforementioned MLAs and MLC as parliamentary secretaries.
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