HC: Poll code shouldn’t hit work in government depts - Hindustan Times
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HC: Poll code shouldn’t hit work in government depts

By, Shimla
Apr 30, 2024 11:09 PM IST

Observing that Model Code of Conduct cannot be used as a pretence by the government servants for indulging in any “un-official pen down strike”, the Himachal Pradesh high court on Monday directed the state chief secretary to issue clear instructions within a week on how the document does not impede the routine working of government and public undertakings.

Observing that Model Code of Conduct cannot be used as a pretence by the government servants for indulging in any “un-official pen down strike”, the Himachal Pradesh high court on Monday directed the state chief secretary to issue clear instructions within a week on how the document does not impede the routine working of government and public undertakings.

A division bench of justices Tarlok Singh Chouhan and Sushil Kukreja said, “We are at pains to note that this court is flooded with litigation where promotions/appointments etc. have been denied solely on the ground of imposition of Model Code of Conduct.” (Getty Images/iStockphoto/ Representational image)
A division bench of justices Tarlok Singh Chouhan and Sushil Kukreja said, “We are at pains to note that this court is flooded with litigation where promotions/appointments etc. have been denied solely on the ground of imposition of Model Code of Conduct.” (Getty Images/iStockphoto/ Representational image)

A division bench of justices Tarlok Singh Chouhan and Sushil Kukreja said, “We are at pains to note that this court is flooded with litigation where promotions/appointments etc. have been denied solely on the ground of imposition of Model Code of Conduct.”

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The bench further said, “The imposition of MCC can aptly be described as a “un-official pen down strike” in the government/public undertakings and all businesses including routine business are held up on account of misinterpretation and misconstruction of the provisions of the document described as Model Code of Conduct. It is high time that the State Government takes a call on this issue”.

The high court passed the order while deciding a plea of one Satinder Kumar seeking an appointment to the post of superintendent grade II (Ex Cadre) in Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishav Vidayalaya.

Kumar has moved the court seeking to be promoted to the post of Superintendent Grade II with effect from November 1, 2017, by quashing the order dated January 30, 2018, passed by the University by terming it as illegal and arbitrary.

The university has refused to accede to the representation made by Kumar on the ground that as per the rules/regulations, no placements/promotions can be made after the retirement against any slot/post when the petitioner had not made any representation for his placement to the post in question while in service before the competent authority. The varsity has also cited order of the CEO , Himachal Pradesh which intimated the election schedule for Vidhan Sabha Elections-2017 to deny the appointments and promotions during the currency of the Model Code of Conduct.

The bench said, “Let a copy of this order be sent to the chief secretary to the Government of Himachal Pradesh to issue clear instructions regarding the purpose and object of issuing MCC and further to clarify how this document--MCC does not impede the routine working of the government/public undertakings/boards/corporations etc. and further to issue clear instructions that the MCC cannot be used as a pretence by the government servants for indulging in any “un-official pen down strike” during the currency of the MCC within a period of one week.” The bench said, “Accordingly, we have no option but to allow this petition and the order dated January 30, 2018, passed by the respondent- university is ordered to be quashed and set aside.” Consequently, while listing the matter for compliance on May 6, the bench directed the university to promote Kumar w.e.f November 1, 2017.

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