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Lt. Governor is the appropriate appointing authority for Secretary of Delhi Legislative Assembly : Delhi High Court

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The Delhi High Court has said that the appropriate appointing Authority is the Lieutenant Governor and not the Speaker of the house in the appointment of Secretary to the Delhi Legislative Assembly (DLA).

Justice Chandra Dhari Singh said that the Speaker only has a say as being consulted.

The single judge said that the appointments to the position of Secretary, DLA fall outside the purview of the office of Speaker, DLA who, to the most, could have a say to the extent of being consulted and even not that of his concurrence.

The matter came up as the petitioner was relieved and subsequently terminated from his services as Secretary. Not only this but the posts held by him at the DLA were found illegal.

The petitioner on the recommendation f the speaker had been recommended for appointment as an officer on Special Duty, and was permanently absorbed in the DLA.

The petitioner’s counsel said that the services of the petitioner were terminated without any reason which is in complete disregard of the law.

He further argued that the post of assembly secretary was created and sanctioned exclusively for the assembly as they are not transferable or controlled by the executive.

The major issue for examination was whether the Speaker had the power to recruit the petitioner, grant absorption, and further appoint him as the secretary.

The order said that none of the appointments of petitioner against the abovementioned posts, the Lt. Governor’s consent and approval for such appointment was obtained and therefore, these appointments were per se illegal and void ab-initio.

The Court also went on to consider that despite being granted an opportunity twice through a show-cause notice for personal hearing, the petitioner chose not to avail it. Therefore, he could not argue that principles of natural justice have been violated to his disadvantage.

Further, it was emphasised that once an appointment is found to be void from the beginning, the petitioner had no enforceable legal right on the basis of an illegal appointment.

While concluding the court said that the petitioner cannot claim observance of same procedure towards termination of service of regularly appointed persons.

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