The Delhi High Court has disapproved of an NGO challenging the NDA government’s decision to keep away people from appointment as private secretaries, principal private secretaries and OSDs who occupied those positions during 10 years of UPA regime.
Rubbishing the NGO’s contention that “This is an attempt to politicise the bureaucracy”, the court said “a minister can appoint any one they want. Now the appointments have also been made. Now nothing will happen till next election.”
A bench of justices B D Ahmed and Ashutosh Kumar questioned the counsel for NGO for dubbing the June 19, 2014 circular as a “political move”, saying it can be the other way round.
“We read (circular) it as giving chance to other people. You have been put in different work. It does not mean that you have been punished or branded as the party worker of the previous government. Enjoy your work at every place,” the bench said.
“Anybody who is aggrieved should have filed the petition. You are looking at the circular from a very narrow point of view. There should be some person who is aggrieved. Let him come. Not a single person is seen aggrieved, otherwise they would have come to the court,” the court said in apparent reference to the government officials and bureaucrats, likely to be affected by the circular, but not approaching the court.
It said that the issue is a service matter and the CAT (Central Administrative Tribunal) would be the appropriate forum.
The bench also suggested to the counsel for NGO, Society for Voice of Human Rights and Justice, to withdraw the plea challenging the Centre’s June 19, 2014 circular.
The lawyer said he will take instructions on whether to pursue the matter by the next date of hearing on January 25.
On June 19, 2014 the Narendra Modi government had issued a circular that “any officer/official/private person” who worked as personal staff of a UPA minister in any capacity for any duration may not be appointed in the personal staff of the ministers in the present government.
The NGO has alleged “there is a specific exclusion provided in the notification. This is an attempt to politicise the bureaucracy.”