‘Do Some More Research’: Delhi HC Tells Litigant Trying to Get BJP, AAP Leaders Removed from PSUs, Statutory Bodies

Delhi High Court Law Insider

Bhuvana Marni

Published on: October 29, 2022 at 13:28 IST

The Delhi High Court adjourned a public interest litigation hearing on Friday to remove persons who continue to hold official positions in political parties after being appointed to statutory bodies and public sector undertakings.

A division bench consisting of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad scheduled the case for hearing on January 17, 2023, and instructed the petitioner’s attorney to “do some more research and homework.”

In the plea made by Advocate Sonali Tiwary, it is also requested that a committee be constituted to frame guidelines for the appointment of those who have official positions in political parties as public servants.

Advocate Aditya Raj has filed the PIL on your behalf. The PIL has been filed through Advocate Aditya Raj.

The plea avers that the requirement of being “politically neutral” as public servants are being violated as people affiliated with political parties are routinely appointed as public servants.

As per the plea, the same has gross implications on policy-making and is also tantamount to abuse of public office.

“There are other important issues. People are not getting proper treatment. People are not getting jobs. I can understand that kind of PIL. This is only to….,” the bench orally remarked.

“Do some more research. We will take it up after some time….do some homework,” the court told Senior Advocate Sanjoy Ghose, who was appearing pro bono for the petitioner.

Justice Subramonium Prasad also told Ghose “The question is what is the nature of your petition… without any specific provision which prohibit holding of such positions, you have tried to equate Prevention of Corruption Act with meaning of public servant under IPC and then trying to say that public servant amounts to civil servant and therefore bar…which is why I am not able to join dots. Unless some more concrete reasons are shown…”

Sambit Patra, a national spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Party and the head of the India Tourism Department Corporation, is used as an illustration in the PIL (ITDC).

“A mere look at the Twitter profile of Sh. Patra would demonstrate that he is in gross and wilful violation of the principle of neutrality that is applicable to each and every public servant who is getting his allowance from the taxpayers money. In his Twitter profile, Sh. Sambit Patra has himself stated that he is the National Spokesperson of the BJP,” the plea states.

Iqbal Singh Lalpura, a member of the BJP’s parliamentary board and the chairperson of the National Minorities Commission, has also been implicated.

In addition to serving as the Aam Aadmi Party’s spokesperson and a member of the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee, respectively, Jasmine Shah and Dr. Chandrabhan Singh are other people suggested.

According to the plea, those who are public servants have failed their public duty, “leading to the exploitation of public resources.”

“Being alarmed and aggrieved by the wilful disobedience and the non-adherence to the doctrine of political neutrality by the public servants, which has potential to cause huge loss to the public exchequer due to the biased decision making of the public servants and abuse of public funds for political gains to certain political parties, the Petitioner has filed this writ petition in public interest,” the plea states.

Union government through the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Delhi Government, State of Rajasthan, Patra, Lalpura, Shah and Singh are respondents in the case.

Case Title: Sonali Tiwary vs. Union of India & Ors.

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