It was seen in the recent past that in order to extend undue benefits to its political leaders, various state governments had been resorting to certain appointments like that of chief parliamentary secretaries which were been set aside by the Supreme court as well as many other high courts.
The appointments were held to be unconstitutional. In the mean time, the legislature of Himachal Pradesh enacted a legislation, tabled by the majority political party BJP, authorising the appointment of Chief Whip and Deputy chief Whip and conferred upon them cabinet status and that of minister of state respectively.
Consequently, a writ petition was filed in the High Court of HP, challenging the provisions of Act and appointment of Mr. Narender Bragta as Chief Whip on two major grounds:
1.That the appointment of Chief Whip under the Act was contrary to Article 164-1A of Constitution of India. In so far as the said provision limited the number of ministers to 15% or 12, this appointment exceeded the limit provided under Constitution.
- 2. That the Legislative Assembly of Himachal Pradesh lacks the legislative competence to enact the said legislation. Consequently, no such legislation could be promulgated enabling the appointments of Chief Whip and Deputy Chief Whip.
It would not be out of place here to mention that the legislation enabling the appointments of Chief Parliament Secretary in State of Assam has also been quashed by the Apex court on similar grounds in case titled Bimolangshu Rai vs State of Assam as reported in (2018) 4SCC 408. The petition CWP No. 1116/2019 titled Tek Chand and Others VS State of HP came up before the High court of HP upon which, after hearing detailed arguments, the Court issued notices to the State of Himachal Pradesh and directed it to file reply to the petition. The matter is pending adjudication before the Court.