Thu, 07 Dec 2023

New Delhi [India], September 21 (ANI): The Delhi Court on Thursday while seeking a response from the Delhi assembly secretariat, directed that the services of Assembly Fellow/Associate Fellows engaged with the Delhi Assembly Research Centre shall continue till the next date of hearing on December 6 and stipend be paid to them.

A petition has been moved by 17 such fellows challenging the termination of their contacts by the Delhi legislative assembly secretariat.Justice Subramonium Prasad on Thursday issued notice and sought a response from the legislative assembly secretariat as well as the Services and Finance Department within two weeks.

The matter has been listed on December 6 for further hearing.

The court directed that till the next date of hearing the services of the petitioner shall not be discontinued and they be given a stipend.

The bench noted that the assembly speaker earlier had said that the reasons for termination were not applicable to the services of the petitioners.

The high court issued a notice to respondents and sought an explanation for the sudden change of attitude by the assembly secretariat.

The counsel of the petitioners said that they were engaged in the service after following the due procedure but their contacts were terminated prematurely as well as arbitrarily and unceremoniously after a letter was issued by the services department on July 5.

It has been stated by the petitioner that they were engaged as Fellows/Associate Fellows and as Associate Fellows (Media) for the Delhi Assembly Research Centre which was constituted on the recommendation of the General Purpose Committee of the Delhi Assembly in February 2019. The purpose was to create a dedicated research centre and team for the members of the legislative assembly of Delhi.

The plea has stated that the July 5 letter directed that the engagement of the petitioners, be discontinued and disbursement of salary to them stopped as a prior approval of the lieutenant governor for the same had not been sought.

The plea also submitted that the letter was kept in abeyance and the assembly speaker had informed the LG that he had directed the officials not to take any action in this matter without his approval but they were not paid their stipend.

It is said that the petitioners were stopped from marking their attendance by some departments. Thereafter, their engagement was discontinued by a letter issued on August 9, 2023.

The petitioners have contended that the interference by the Service and Finance Department is in contravention of the doctrine of separation of power as the assembly research Centre works under the aegis of the legislative assembly and speaker. (ANI)

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