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Haryana

Posted at: Jan 12, 2019, 7:19 AM; last updated: Jan 12, 2019, 7:19 AM (IST)

Faux pas: Govt notification shows 6 acting HPSC chiefs

Pradeep Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11

Is the current Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) having six Acting Chairpersons? The answer may be no, but the government notifications seem to have performed this feat through a faux pas.

A close perusal of the gazette notifications issued by the Personnel Department of the Haryana Government since 2008 showed that the notifications for the appointment of incumbent HPSC Chairman Manbir Singh Bhadana and other nine HPSC Members, which were supposed to be issued under Clause (1) of Article 316 of the Constitution of India, were instead issued under Clause (IA) which is related to the appointment of Acting Chairperson in the HPSC.

Surprisingly, the notifications were issued both under the Congress government headed by Bhupinder Singh Hooda and the BJP government headed by Manohar Lal Khattar.

Hemant Kumar, advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court, claimed that on July 25, 2013, when Bhadana was appointed as regular Chairperson and four others —Jagan Nath, Savita Tayal, Surender Kumar Sharma and Harendera Pal Singh — were appointed as Members, their appointment was notified under Article 316(1A) of the Constitution instead of Article 316 (1) as published in the Haryana Government Gazette Notification. All four have since retired.

Later, on March 1, 2014, Neelam Singh and Rajesh Vaid were appointed as HPSC Members by the then Hooda government. Their appointment notification, too, was issued under Article 316 (1A). Then on August 8, 2016, Neeta Khera and Jai Bhagwan Goyal were appointed as HPSC Members by the Khattar government and that too under Article 316 (IA).

Similarly, on May 27, 2017, the same faux pas repeated when gazette notification of Surender Singh was issued by the Haryana Government under the erroneous provision of the Constitution i.e. under Article 316 (1A).

However, on June 2015, when Khattar dispensation appointed Kulbir Chhikara and Vandana Sharma as Members of the HPSC, the notification of their appointment was issued correctly under Article 316 (1) and so was the one as issued in respect of Pawan Kumar who was appointed as HPSC Member on December 5, 2017.

Under Article 316 (1), the Chairperson and Members of the Union and State Public Service Commissions (SPSCs) are appointed by the President and the Governor, respectively. However, under Article 316 (1A), if the office of Chairperson of such commission becomes vacant or if any such Chairperson is by reason of absence or for any other reason unable to perform the duties of his office, then such duties shall be performed by such member of the commission who is appointed as Acting Chairperson by the President or the Governor, as the case may be.

Scrutiny of document

A close perusal of the gazette notifications issued by the Personnel Department of the Haryana Government since 2008 showed that the notifications for the appointment of incumbent HPSC Chairman Manbir Singh Bhadana and other nine HPSC Members, which were supposed to be issued under Clause (1) of Article 316 of the Constitution of India, were instead issued under Clause (IA) which is related to the appointment of Acting Chairperson in the HPSC.

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