The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Rajya Sabha secretarat and the Centre to respond to a PIL that has alleged irregularities in the appointments of senior officers in the Rajya Sabha TV and secretariat.
The plea alleged irregularities in appointments of senior officers of the rank of joint secretary and above as well as the officer on special duty to Vice President Hamid Ansari, the Rajya Sabha Television chief executive officer, and the present secretary general, Gurdeep Singh Sappal.
The Public Interest Litigation also sought inquiry into the appointment of the CEO of the Rajya Sabha TV channel.
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw issued notice to the Rajya Sabha secretary and the department of personnel and training, asking them to file a short affidavit on the issue by July 8.
NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation through advocate Prashant Bhushan in its PIL challenged the validity of clause 6 (A) of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat (Methods of Recruitment and Qualifications for Appointment) Order, 2009, and sought an order of the court directing an inquiry into all appointments made in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat since 2009.
Alleging absence of rules, the PIL sought a direction to the government to follow the Lok Sabha Recruitment and Conditions of Service Orders for making appointments, both through deputation and promotion, for the posts of joint secretary and above in the Rajya Sabha secretariat till the rules of the house were framed.
"An inquiry to be conducted into all the discretionary appointments made through deputation in violation of the RS Secretariat (Methods of Recruitment and Qualifications for appointments) order, 2009, in the RS Secretariat in past few years and also the appointment of the CEO of RSTV," the plea said.
According to the plea, RSTV CEO Sappal is the first ever non-bureaucrat CEO of a government-run TV.
According to the Right to Information queries, the job of RSTV CEO was never advertised. Unlike Lok Sabha TV CEO, whose job was prominently advertised, Sappal was handpicked for the job without any competition, the plea said.
The PIL said absence of rules deprives eligible and meritorious officers of the RS Secretariat their just, fair right to be recruited or promoted to the posts of joint secretary and above.
The NGO earlier moved the Supreme Court but the apex court directed it to file its plea before the high court.