HIGHCOURT DIRECTS SECRETARY HEALTH TO APPEAR ON APPOINTMENT OF WHOLE TIME ‘DESIGNATED OFFICERS’
Punjab and Haryana Highcourt directs Secretary, Personnel and Secretary, Health and Family Welfare to appear before it in connection with appointment of whole time “Designated Officers” under the Food Safety Act.
During resumed hearing of a Quo Warranto Writ petition filed by Social activist, Kuldeep Khaira of Ludhiana, seeking the removal of 22 District Health Officers, who have been given charge of post of “Designated Officers” under the “Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006”-instead of making appointment of 27 whole time Designated Officers , one for each district (as required under Central Government Rules, of 2011), the Bench comprising Justice Rajesh Bindal took a very serious view of the delaying tactics on the part of State Government.
Despite granting repeated opportunities, the responded-State Government was not making appointment of Designated Officers under the pretext that it was in the process of framing Rules, which required not only consultation with PPSC, but required concurrence of Finance department, and were also required to be approved by Cabinet of Ministers.
On 17.12.2015, Smt. Raji P. Srivastava, IAS, Secretary to Punjab, Department of Personnel, and Mr. R.L. Mehta, OSD (Litigation), Health, had appeared before Justice Paramjeet Singh’s Bench, and had assured that they will make efforts for notifying the rules by issuing notification before the adjourned date.
Today, during resumed hearing, again the Law Officer of Punjab Government pleaded that rules could not be notified for want of clearance by the Cabinet. Taking a very serious view of the matter, the HC Bench directed that Secretary to Punjab, Department of Personnel, and Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, shall come present in the Court on 15.2.2016, in case rules are not notified before that date.