Appointment of parl secretaries: HC notice to state

Appointment of parl secretaries: HC notice to state

A division bench headed by Acting Chief Justice L Narayana Swamy was hearing a petition filed by B Adinarayana, a resident of Vijayanagar, who has moved the court seeking directions to remove the eight persons appointed as parliamentary secretaries. (DH File Photo)

The Karnataka High Court on Friday issued notices to the state government and eight persons appointed as parliamentary secretaries while hearing a petition challenging their appointment.

A division bench headed by Acting Chief Justice L Narayana Swamy was hearing a petition filed by B Adinarayana, a resident of Vijayanagar, who has moved the court seeking directions to remove the eight persons appointed as parliamentary secretaries.

The petitioner has contended that the state government has enacted The Karnataka Parliamentary Secretaries Allowances Act 1963 and amended the Act of 1999. The Act provides for appointment of Parliamentary Secretary from among the members of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly (KLA) or the Karnataka Legislative Council by the chief minister. The Act also provides for salary and allowances to the parliamentary secretary as are admissible to a minister.

The petitioner has stated that following the May 2018 elections to the Karnataka Assembly, a coalition government of the JD(S) and the Congress was formed.

Members elected to the KLA were 224. The petitioner further adds that the present strength of the council of ministers, including the chief minister, is 32.

Thereafter, the state government issued a notification dated January 7, 2019, pertaining to the appointment of the eight persons as parliamentary secretaries by the chief minister.

The petitioner contends that the appointment of the said eight persons is unconstitutional under the Act and is also contrary to Article 164 (1-A) of the Indian Constitution.

The eight persons whose appointment as parliamentary secretaries has been challenged are K Abdul Jabbar (MLC) Anjali Hemanth NImbalkar (MLA), Ivan D’Souza (MLC), Koujalgi Mahantesh Shivananda (MLA), Roopakala M Shashidhar (MLA), K Govindraj (MLC), Raghavendra Basavaraj Hitnal (MLA), D S Hoolageri (MLA).

The petitioner has also sought for directions to declare The Karnataka Parliamentary Secretaries Allowances Act 1963 and the amended Act of 1999 as ultravires.

The petition contends that the post of parliamentary secretary is an attempt to bypass law that the strength of the ministry should not be more than 15 per cent of the total strength of the Legislative Assembly.

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