The Punjab and Haryana High Court, on Wednesday (January 17), scrapped the appointment of retired IAS officer Suresh Kumar as chief principal secretary to Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court, on Wednesday (January 17), scrapped the appointment of retired IAS officer Suresh Kumar as chief principal secretary to Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh. As per the court, Kumar was holding the post without any authority of law. His appointment was made soon after Amarinder Singh became the chief minister of the state. The decision comes after a Mohali resident, Ramandeep Singh, had moved the high court against the appointment with a petition claiming that the appointment was against the constitutional scheme and accepted norms. His counsel had argued that the tenure of Kumar, had been made co-terminus with that of the government. He has been delegated the powers to oversee the functioning of principal secretary to the chief minister which is a cadre post.
“Having considered the entire conspectus of the matter, this court finds that respondent no. 5 (Kumar) is holding a ‘public office’ without authority of law and in clear violation of the constitutional scheme, particularly Article 166 (3) and rules framed thereunder. Thus, the appointment of respondent no. 5 is held to be void. Same is hereby set aside,” said Justice Rajan Gupta, as per a report by The Indian Express. The court also asked why the Governor’s approval was not sought for Kumar’s post.
A post graduate in commerce from Delhi University, Kumar is a 1983 batch IAS officer. He started his career as a Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) in Talwandi Sabo and retired as Additional Chief Secretary (Development) in April 2016. Kumar served the Punjab government and remained on central deputation in different capacities.
He also handled key governance and regulatory issues pertaining to power, water resources, agriculture, education, industries, tax and economic administration, environment, water supply and sanitation, urban local government, and governance reforms.