HC directs AG to produce files

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Panaji, Apr 3 (UNI) The Goa bench of the Bombay High Court has directed Advocate General Subodh Kantak to produce government files pertaining to the appointment of parliamentary secretaries and conferment of Cabinet status on them.

It may be recalled that on March 19, Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Nelson A Britto had already reserved for judgement the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by social activist Adv Aires Rodrigues challenging the appointments of five politicians -- Nilkanth Harlankar and Francisco Silveira as parliamentary secretaries, and EDC Chairman Agnelo Fernandes, Goa Planning Board Deputy Chairman Dr Wilfred De Souza and NRI Affairs Commissioner Eduardo Faleiro who were granted cabinet minister status.

In his PIL, Mr Rodrigues had submitted that the appointments and granting of cabinet minister status were done for political expediency and that these illegal appointments and acts of the government have unnecessarily burdened the state exchequer.

It was also a fraud on the Constitution of India and in violation of the 91st amendment, which was meant to restrict the size of the Cabinet and to prevent jumbo size cabinets with a huge financial burden on the state exchequer, Mr Rodrigues said.

It may be recalled that in 2005 the Himachal Pradesh High Court had set aside the appointments of parliamentary secretaries as unconstitutional.

UNI BM MAZ/NM RL PM1414

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