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HC notice to M’laya Govt for final hearing

Posts of parliamentary secretaries

SHILLONG: The High Court of Meghalaya on Wednesday issued a notice to the state government for final hearing on the matter of the posts of parliamentary secretaries.
The notification comes in the wake of a Supreme Court order that says that states do not have the power to make rules or frame acts for creating posts of parliamentary secretaries while dealing with a matter in Assam.
In the petition filed in the High Court of Meghalaya, the petitioner has questioned the validity of the Meghalaya Parliamentary Secretaries (Appointment, Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2005, on the ground that the enactment was violating the mandate of Clause (1-A) of Article 164 of the Constitution and also the requirements of Articles 154, 162 and 246. It has further said with the submissions that the law-making power of the State Legislature does not extend for enacting such legislation.
The petition was initially taken up on April 20 last year and the government advocate appearing for the respondents was granted time to take complete instructions.
Thereafter, on May 4 last year, with advocate general appearing for respondent number 1 and 2 and central government counsel appearing for the respondent number 3 and 4, the Court found it appropriate to take up this matter for consideration after counter affidavits from these official respondents. After filing of such counter affidavits, the submissions were made before the Court about the pendency of similar nature petitions before the Supreme Court. Thereafter, the matter was adjourned on the submissions made on behalf of the petitioner that the latter had filed a petition seeking transfer of this matter to the Supreme Court where the other petitions involving similar issues were pending.
On October 7 last year, it was given out on behalf of the petitioner that the counsel had not received any instructions in regard to the progress of the transfer petition before the Supreme Court, but, it was pointed out that the matter pending in the Supreme Court and involving akin issues was likely to come up for hearing in the month of July 2017.
Taking note of such submissions, Court deferred consideration of this matter until the month of August 2017.
On Wednesday, the counsel for the petitioner submitted that there had been some miscommunication in regard to filing of the transfer petition before the Supreme Court because the petitioner was indeed advised to file such petition for transfer of the matter to the Supreme Court. But to his information, no such petition for transfer was filed before the Supreme Court.
The counsel however, pointed out that the matter pending before the Supreme Court in relation to the similar nature enactment, being the Assam Parliamentary Secretaries (Appointment, Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2004 has since been considered and decided on July 27, and therein, the Supreme Court has clearly ruled against the competence of the legislature of Assam to make the impugned enactment.
According to the counsel, the said judgment dated July 26, 2017 by the Supreme Court in transferred case squarely covered the subject-matter of the petition; and on similar lines, the impugned enactment also deserved to be declared invalid.
“In view of the law declared by the Supreme Court in the aforesaid decision, this matter does require consideration; and at the earliest,” Court said.
This matter listed with complete report of service has been listed on September 1.

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