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HC requests Assembly not to take coercive steps against three bureaucrats

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The High Court today requested the Legislative Assembly not to take any "coercive steps" against three senior bureaucrats summoned by the of the House to appear before it for allegedly failing to answer certain questions of legislators.

Justice C said that no "precipitative action" be taken against the three bureaucrats, who on June 7 were asked by to be present in the visitors gallery of the House today.

The court said its interim order against the June 7 letter of the shall be in operation till June 13, the next date of hearing.

It said it was passing the interim order as serious issues have been raised in the petitions by the three bureaucrats and these need "proper consideration".

The pleas against the June 7 letter have been moved by Sandeep Kumar, Education secretary, Nagendra Kumar, Services secretary, and Manisha Saxena,

Senior and Rajshekhar Rao, appearing for the three bureaucrats, told the court that the allegedly unanswered questions pertained to subjects of services and land, which along with law and order, are issues on which the assembly cannot legislate.

The lawyers said that in such a situation, queries raised by legislators about these subjects ought not to have been allowed by the Speaker.

They also argued, that even if the questions were allowed, they may be answered by the Council of Ministers of government, but bureaucrats cannot be asked to provide inputs on those queries.

Jain and Rao also said that bureaucrats could not have provided inputs as they have been prohibited from doing so by their cadre controlling authority.

They said his aspect was communicated to the Speaker by bureaucrats, but he did not consider it.

Meanwhile, Delhi government's Gautam Narayan, appearing for the Assembly, said the bureaucrats are bound to comply with the June 7 letter.

Earlier in the day, the petitions were mentioned by Rao before a vacation bench of Justices Sangita Dhingra Sehgal and C which allowed it to be listed for hearing today as the bureaucrats had to appear before the House at 2pm.

Goel's letter of June 7 had warned the bureaucrats of strict action "as per rules" if they do not provide proper answers to three written questions asked by the ruling party legislators.

The three-day session, which started on June 6, was scheduled to conclude on June 8. However, it was extended by one working day, i.e. till today.

Goel had on June 6 directed the bureaucrats to be present during assembly proceedings the next day after their departments allegedly did not supply answers to written questions of legislators.

Angry with the development, the speaker had termed as "undeclared emergency" the situation where officers are not providing answers asked by MLAs and blamed for it.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, June 11 2018. 15:35 IST
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