Chandigarh, December 25, 2019 (Yes Punjab News)
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today welcomed Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore’s decision to return the file which sought to regularize the illegal and unconstitutional appointment of six legislators as Advisors in the rank of Ministers by amending the Punjab State Legislature (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1952 back to the Congress government.
In a statement here, former minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon said the Governor had by returning the file acted as a bulwark of the constitution. “The Governor has also posed thirteen queries to the government clearly indicating that the Act does not stand constitutional scrutiny.
It would be better for the Congress government to withdraw the Act and apologize to Punjabis for riding roughshod with the constitution by acting against the 91st Amendment which clearly states that the strength of the ministry cannot be more than 15 per cent of the strength of the members of the Vidhan Sabha”.
The senior SAD leader also demanded that the money spent on salaries, offices and perks to the six Advisors as per those given to Cabinet ministers, should now be realized from them and deposited in the State treasury. “Simultaneously disqualification proceedings should be initiated against them for accepting an office of profit”.
Mr Sekhon said it was clear from the very start that the Congress government was indulging in an illegality by amending the Punjab State Legislature (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1952 with retrospective effect.
“This has also been exposed further with the Governor asking the government under which statue or public order it had created the news posts, facilities, entitlements and salaries eligible to the Advisors, qualifications if any ascribed to the post and whether they would be able to access government files besides other queries”.
The former minister said the nature of queries indicated that the Governor was prima facie not satisfied with the amended act. “The Governor has even asked the government to furnish the advice given to chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on the legal status of the appointments. This indicates that the appointments will not stand legal scrutiny”, he added.
Asking the Congress government not to try to defend the indefensible by stating that the Governor had not returned the file, Mr Sekhon said the official release admitted that the Governor had sought clarifications on the issue. “This means one and the same thing. The Governor has refused to give his nod to the controversial Act. He has returned the same to you. This is the truth”.
Stating that it was high time for the six Advisors to understand the illegal nature of their appointment, Mr Sekhon said all of them should give up their posts immediately in public interest.
He said the legislators should not give an impression that they are seeking to enrich themselves at a time when their own government is making announcements that the treasury is empty and is unable to meet its obligations for winter school uniforms, mid day meals, SC scholarships, old age pension, shagun scheme, sugarcane dues or even Dearness Allowance to its employees.
“It is a matter of shame that crores are being spent on the six Advisors but nothing is being done to give jobs, unemployment allowance of Rs 2,500 per month or mobile phones to youth or even jobs and compensation to farm suicide victim families”, Mr Sekhon added.