Cabinets of State Governments: India

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Parliamentary secretaries

The Times of India, Aug 10 2015

WB verdict may hit Delhi's parl secy plan

The Supreme Court refused the Mamata Banerjee government's request to stay the Calcutta high court order over the appointment of 24 parliamentary secretaries.

Delhi assembly had recently passed a Bill to legitimize the appointment of par iamentary secretaries and give them immunity from disqualification as MLAs.The government had stated that these posts were not “office of profit“. However, the state is facing scrutiny of Delhi high court over a PIL filed against this decision.Even the ministry of home affairs is studying the Bill. After the Bill was passed by Delhi assembly , it was sent to lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung for his assent. However, Jung referred the Bill to MHA last month as it has financial implications and the ministry's nod is needed for it, sources said. The LG's office is learnt to have had reservations over the Bill as due process was not followed.Such policies first need to be reviewed by MHA before being cleared by the assembly . In the West Bengal government's case, the Supreme Court asked the PIL petitioners to file their responses within three weeks. On June 1, the HC had declared the West Bengal Parliamentary Secretaries (Appointment, Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2012 as unconstitutional, saying it went against Clause 1(A) of Article 164 of the Constitution. Under the Act, which came into force in 2013, the CM had appointed parliamentary secretaries to “maintain coordination between government departments“. A parliamentary secretary enjoyed the rank, status, salary and allowances of a minister of state.

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