Is the appointment to the Haryana Right to Service Commission legal?
Oath of office for the proposed Haryana Right to Service Commission was administered to three commissioners - Sarban Singh, Amar Singh and Sunil Katyal - by the Chief Minister of Haryana which has evoked sharp reactions. It has been alleged that the state government failed to follow the rules rank regarding the rank of officials who have been selected for the job. The name of the new appointees was cleared by the outgoing Governor Jagannath Pahadia on the last day of his tenure and they were sworn in without the letters of appointment being issued to them.
Section 13 (3) of the Right to Service Act, 2014 reads, "At least two of the commissioners shall be retired officers of the government of Haryana in the rank and status of an administrative secretary or its equivalent rank and status in any of the services of the state, including officers of all India services from the Haryana cadre."
The secretary of Haryana administrative reforms department, Pradeep Kasni, had raised objections that the rank of the officers is not administrative secretary-rank as required by the law.
· Sarban Singh is a retired administrative secretary,
· Sunil Katyal is a former deputy advocate general, and
· Amar Singh is a retired joint excise and taxation commissioner.
On behalf of the government, it was claimed that Deputy advocate general and an IAS officer draws equal pay scale and hence Katyal falls in this category. Critics have argued that services of deputy advocate general are taken on engagement basis and they are not like regular government employees as the nature of duties, powers and functions are different.
A memorandum was submitted to the new Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki by the opposition seeking his intervention in the matter. Solanki has sought a reply from the Haryana government over the appointment in 15 days.