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High court notice to Centre on Khemka’s empanelment plea

August 01, 2020 05:50 AM


High court notice to Centre on Khemka’s empanelment plea
HT Correspondent


Chandigarh : The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday put the Centre on notice on a plea of senior IAS officer, Ashok Khemka, who has challenged the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) order, wherein his plea seeking direction to the Centre to consider his empanelment was dismissed.

The high court bench of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh has sought response by August 24. It was on July 23 that CAT, Chandigarh, had passed the order. Khemka was seeking direction to the Centre to consider his empanelment for holding additional secretary or equivalent post at the Centre.

CAT had dismissed the plea observing that appointment of a person at the Centre cannot be a matter of right.

Khemka has told court that he was empanelled as joint secretary in December 2010 and applied for central deputation in 2011, 2012 and 2014, but was not appointed. The petitioner cannot be penalised and debarred for life for ‘minister’s act’ of ignoring his name sent in almost 40 panels, he has claimed.

Under Article 312, an all-India service officer has a right to serve at both the Centre as well as the state. There is a 40% central deputation reserve in each state cadre, he told the court, adding that the doors to the Centre cannot be shut upon the petitioner for no fault on his part.

It has also been submitted that non-empanelment at this stage would lead to cascading effect and he will not be able to serve at the Centre permanently. He had also argued that the eligibility criteria for such empanelment required minimum three years of service at the Centre at the level of deputy secretary and above. He offered himself on a number of occasions, but was not appointed without any fault on his part, he had argued.


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