PIL challenges legitimacy of Parl Secy

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IMPHAL, January 27: A public interest litigation was filed by Dr Khomdon Singh Lisham in relation to the rules of procedure and conduct of business of the Manipur Legislative Assembly stating that a parliamentary secretary shall be in the rank of minister of state and shall be treated as such. As they will be treated as ministers, it violates the Article 164(IA) of the Indian Constitution and hence illegal as the number for ministerial berths has exceeded 15%.

Keisam Meghachandra Singh, in charge of minor irrigation, information and public relations; Mairenbam Prithviraj Singh in charge of youth affairs and sports and tourism; Victor Keishing in charge of tribal affairs and hills, information Technology; Vungzagin Valte in charge of horticulture and soil conservation, CADA; Md Amin Shah in charge of minorities and other backward classes and schedule caste, science and technology are the five parliamentary secretaries.

The five were appointed on October 6, 2012 as per an order by the then chief secretary DS Poonia and were sworn in on October 8, 2012. The hearing of the PIL was held today by a division bench comprising of chief justice (acting) LK Mohapatra and justice N Kotishwar. Counsel of the petitioner Th Manihar complained that the case has been kept in cold storage and delayed. He urged for swift action and justice to be done in the case.

On the other hand, the counsel of the respondents approached the Court to be given some more time. Conclusively, the court has given a week time from today and the final hearing will be held on February 6. The respondents include the chief secretary, secretary of Manipur Legislative Assembly, principal secretary (finance) and the mentioned parliamentary secretaries.

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