HC seeks govt reply on crucial appointments

On a petition challenging the appointment of Samajwadi Party secretary K C Pandey as vice-chairman of the UP Council of Sugarcane Research, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday asked the state government to file a reply within two weeks regarding the criteria for making such appointments.

The bench of Justices Uma Nath Singh and V K Dixit passed the order on a PIL, filed by social activist Nutan Thakur. K C Pandey faces allegations of sheltering cattle smugglers in Gonda district.

The petition urged the court to order an inquiry into the allegations against Pandey, and also to "re-assess and re-evaluate" the appointments to various other similar posts.

Stating that there are no definite rules and regulations for appointment to posts of chairman, vice-chairman, members in various commissions, councils, corporations, academies, institutions, and companies of Uttar Pradesh, Thakur urged the court to direct the state government to prepare quantitative and qualitative, clear, specific, exact and well-defined qualifications for these posts.

She also prayed that the appointment procedures for these posts should be well publicised, and the appointment should be carried out in a transparent manner. Among the appointments which Thakur seeks to be re-evaluated include Abid Raza, chairman of the National Integration Council, UP; Sahib Singh Saini, chairman of Beej Pramarikaran Nigam; Surendra Mohan Agarwal, chairman of the UP Commercial Tax Advisory Committee; Naved Siddique, chairman of the Sangeet Natak Academy; Gopal Das Neeraj, chairman of the UP Hindi Sansthan, Waseem Ahmed Khan, chairman of the State Pollution Control Board.

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