Thursday, September 24, 2020
Home India Calcutta HC strikes down law appointing parliamentary secretaries

Calcutta HC strikes down law appointing parliamentary secretaries

North 24-Parganas: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during an administrative review meeting in North 24-Parganas of West Bengal on May 21, 2015. (Photo: IANS)
Photo: IANS

Kolkata: In a setback to the West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress, the Calcutta High Court on Monday declared as unconstitutional a state law passed to appoint parliamentary secretaries to “aid and advise” state ministers.

The Mamata Banerjee government in December 2012 passed the West Bengal Parliamentary Secretaries (Appointment, Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, empowering it to appoint parliamentary secretaries entitled to enjoy the status of a minister of state or deputy minister including pay and allowances.

The law came into force on January 11, 2013.

After the act was passed, Chief Minister Banerjee had appointed 26 of her party legislators as parliamentary secretaries assigning them to various government departments.

The act was subsequently challenged before the Calcutta High Court.

“We had challenged the act on the grounds that the West Bengal Legislative Assembly did not have the competence to enact such a law.

“Also it was a fraud on the constitution as it bypassed Article 164 (1) which states the total number of minister in a state cannot exceed fifteen percent of the total number of MLAs,” said Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, who had moved the petition.

“The bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur upheld our arguments and declared the act unconstitutional,” said Bhattacharya.

“With this verdict, the post of parliamentary secretaries has become void and all the appointments made under it now stand nullified,” he added.

Welcoming the verdict, the opposition parties demanded the refund of public money that was “splurged” on the parliamentary sectaries.

“Just because she (Banerjee) could not satisfy her MLAs ministerial desires, she bypassed the constitution to create this law. It’s now time for her to refund all the taxpayers’ money that she splurged on these secretaries,” said Leader of the Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra, of the Communist Party of India-Marxist.

“Despite repeated legal setbacks, our chief minister refuses to learn and continues to act in whimsical ways. Hope she learns this time from her mistake and also ensures that the public money that was wasted is refunded,” said state Bharatiya Janata Party president Rahul Sinha.

-IANS

STAY CONNECTED

19,143FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,775FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Microsoft Study Shows Pandemic has Increased Feeling of Burnout Among Workers

If you've been feeling overwhelmed at work lately, you are not alone as a new Microsoft study has shown that the pandemic has increased...

Lower Zinc Levels in Blood Linked to Higher Death Risk in Covid Patients: Study

In a major study, researchers have found that having a lower level of zinc in the blood is associated with a poorer outcome in...

Time Magazine List of 100 Most Influential People: Ayushmann Khurrana Among 5 Indians

Indian actor Ayushmann Khurrana is in the Time magazine list of 100 Most Influential People this year. Follow NewsGram on LinkedIn to know what's happening...

Return to Usual Sexual Activity After Heart Attack for Long-Term Survival

Returning to usual levels of sexual activity within a few months after a heart attack is positively associated with long-term survival, say researchers. According to...

Researchers Find Potential New Drug Candidate Against Enterovirus

Some good news in the search for antiviral drugs for hard-to-treat diseases as researchers have identified a potential new drug candidate against enterovirus 71,...

Stroke Patients With Covid-19 Show Increased Inflammation, Death Rate: Researchers

Stroke patients who also have Covid-19 showed increased systemic inflammation, more serious stroke severity and a much higher rate of death, compared to stroke...

Playing Video Games in Childhood Can Improve Working Memory Years Later

In a good news to video game lovers, researchers have found that playing video games as a child can improve working memory years later. The...

Know the Negative Impact of Covid-19 Lockdown on Kids

Children, who appear at a relatively lower risk from Covid-19, are disproportionately harmed by precautions involved with lockdowns, warn researchers. Experts from Oxford University Hospitals...

Recent Comments