Pondy CS to re-appear before privilege panel over SEC row

The Union Territory Chief Secretary Ashwini Kumar has been summoned to re-appear before the privilege committee on a privilege issue pertaining to an advertisement given for the appointment of a State Election Commissioner (SEC) on Tuesday.
Ashwini Kumar
Ashwini Kumar

Puducherry

It may be noted that on a direction from the Supreme Court, Lt Governor Kiran Bedi directed to issue an advertisement for the appointment of the SEC and the Local Administration Department (LAD) had issued it.

However, the Legislative Assembly adopted a resolution and nominated a retired IAS officer Balakrishnan as the SEC and the Speaker gave his nod. Even as Balakrishnan took charge and commenced his work, the Lt Governor referred the matter to the Centre which directed to constitute a committee and appoint SEC on the basis of an all India advertisement and the LAD had issued another advertisement. Congress legislator Jayamurthy moved a privilege issue to the Speaker who referred it to the privilege committee headed by Deputy Speaker Balan.

The committee had already summoned LAD Joint secretary K Balaramana, Secretary Ashok Kumar, Director Malarkannan and Chief Secretary Ashwini Kumar. It is learnt that the Chief Secretary informed the committee that the advertisement was issued on direction from the Lt Governor and sought five days’ time to give answers to the questions posed to him.

However, even after seven days, the Chief Secretary failed to appear before the committee or not submitted the reply in writing and hence, he was summonedto re-appear.

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