HC quashes rules framed by Speaker
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The Punjab and Haryana High Court has quashed the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Secretariat Service Rules, 2007, framed by the Vidhan Sabha Speaker, holding these against the law.
A total of 13 petitions, filed by employees working in Punjab Vidhan Sabha had challenged the vires of Service Rules, 2007 that came up for hearing before a Division Bench comprising chief Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain.
After taking stock of the the situations, the bench held : "We were of the opinion that the procedure, as laid down under Article 187(2) or Article 187(3) of the Constitution, had not been followed in framing the rules in question. These rules framed by the Speaker in the manner mentioned is unknown to law and was not in conformity with Article 187 of the Constitution. Therefore, these rules had no sanctity of law."
The judgment highlighted that earlier there were no service rules for the employees framed either by the state legislature or by the speaker. The secretariat had been following previous precedents/executive orders issued by the speaker for the purpose of further promotion of its employees. In case of Vidhan Sabha Reporters , they used to be promoted to the posts of under secretary, deputy secretary, additional secretary and secretary.
The petitioners had given instances of few reporters who had risen to the level of secretaries and some who retired as additional secretaries. The petitioners had sought quashing of the actions taken under the aforesaid rules, in particular, giving the charge of post of deputy secretary to one of the employees after his retirement. The bench held that under Article 187(3), it is the Governor who is empowered to make rules, after consultation with the speaker of the legislative assembly, in the absence of law made by the legislature under Clause (2) of Article 187.