Following the recommendations of a high-level committee, Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker Ritu Khanduri on Friday revoked 228 ad-hoc appointments made in the Vidhan Sabha Secretariat in violation of norms.
According to a statement issued by the state government, the revoked ad-hoc appointments include 150 that were made in 2016, six in 2020, and 72 appointments last year. Khanduri also placed Vidhan Sabha Secretary Mukesh Singhal under immediate suspension.
The high-level committee submitted its report to the Speaker late on Thursday night.
“I want to inform that last night I received the high-level committee report. After assessing the records of the Vidhan Sabha Secretariat, the committee found that in appointments till 2016, in 2020, and 2021 there were irregularities, and these rules for respective posts were not followed in these appointments. Mentioning the orders given by courts in connection to illegal appointments, the committee recommended that the said appointments be cancelled,” Khanduri said on Friday.
The Speaker said that because the said appointments were done through the government, the state government’s approval was mandatory to cancel them. So, Khanduri said, she would send her decision to the state government for its approval.
In its report, the committee mentioned that the selection committee was not established for direct appointments, no advertisements or public information were issued regarding the vacancies, interested candidates were not asked to submit applications and jobs were given only on personal job applications, no competitive exams or tests were conducted, and the candidates were not given equal opportunities.
Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami welcomed the Assembly Speaker’s decision. Earlier, the chief minister had cleared the government’s stand on the issue and had requested the Speaker to investigate the matter. Subsequently, the Speaker formed a high-level committee to look into the matter.
“No corruption will be tolerated… I had already requested the Vidhan Sabha Speaker that the appointments under question should be investigated, and those in violation of the norms should be revoked. I thank the Speaker that she took the step while following our government’s policy of transparency and good governance. We will prepare a roadmap so that all the appointments in Vidhan Sabha are transparent, systematic, and lawful,” the chief minister said.