By Our Staff Reporter
New Delhi, 19 May: The Supreme Court has rejected the petition of the dismissed employees of the Uttarakhand Assembly Secretariat and has upheld the decision taken by Speaker Ritu Khanduri Bhushan. The decision was announced by the Apex Court today. It dismissed the plea of the ousted employees after a hearing that lasted merely two minutes. It may be recalled that, earlier, the Uttarakhand High Court, too, had upheld the decision of the Speaker to dismiss the employees of the Assembly Secretariat, who had been appointed through the back door and without following the laid out procedure. These employees had then challenged the decision of the High Court in the Supreme Court through a special leave petition.
All the dismissed employees were appointed under the orders of mainly two speakers, Prem Chand Aggarwal and, his predecessor, Govind Singh Kunjwal on ad hoc basis.
This matter had become a political issue, following which the new and present Speaker Ritu Khanduri Bhushan took a stand, ordering the dismissal of the ad-hoc staff. The dismissal was first challenged in the High Court by the affected persons, which upheld the Speaker’s decision. Following this, the HC decision was also challenged in the Supreme Court.
A division bench comprising Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice Manoj Mitra dismissed the special leave petition of the employees just after two minutes of hearing as it did not find any merit in the case.
Advocate Amit Tiwari and Advocate Arjun Gargo appeared on behalf of the Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly Secretariat. Speaker Ritu Khanduri Bhushan had taken strict action by terminating the ad hoc appointments of 228 employees done between 2016 and 2021 against the laid out rules. This action was taken by Bhushan on the basis of an Expert Inquiry Committee headed by former Principal Secretary DK Kotia.
According to Ritu Bhushan, in order to ensure transparency and fairness in the appointments, the Vidhan Sabha Secretariat will now fill all the vacant posts of direct recruitment through Uttarakhand State Public Service Commission and Uttarakhand Subordinate Services Selection Commission. This amendment in the service rules has also been approved by the state government.