HC sets aside extension of appointment granted for general secy of Indian Red Cross Society

The petition challenging the extension of appointment of D R Sharma, general secretary, Indian Red Cross Society, was filed by Sumer Singh, a former secretary of the Indian Red Cross Society.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has set aside an order of extension of appointment granted for the post of general secretary of the Indian Red Cross Society.

The petition challenging the extension of appointment of D R Sharma, general secretary, Indian Red Cross Society, was filed by Sumer Singh, a former secretary of the Indian Red Cross Society.

Sumer Singh, through his counsel, advocate Sangita Dhanda, contended before the HC that relevant rules made it clear that there was no provision for grant of extension after completion of the initial term of three years, and D R Sharma’s appointment as general secretary of the Haryana State Red Cross branch was “illegal, arbitrary and unconstitutional”, he was granted extension till his superannuation in violation of rules.

The counsel further argued that the extension on the post of general secretary on June 4, 2020, is a flagrant violation of the provisions of Uniform Rules notified by the National Headquarters of Indian Red Cross Society, and that the Uniform Rules, 2017 should be upheld by all concerned, especially by the State Red Cross Branches including Haryana State Branch of Indian Red Cross Society.

Meanwhile, during the proceedings, Advocate General Haryana as well as counsel appearing for the Indian Red Cross Society, National Body, also took a stand that the order passed is illegal and, therefore, the extension could not be granted.

The bench of Justice Anil Kshetarpal, after hearing the argument, held: “Once the Service Rules have been framed, notified and adopted, the State or its instrumentalities are required to follow the same. The Rules are framed/notified in order to regulate. If the authorities at the highest level do not adhere to the Rules, then the court is left with no choice but to intervene. In the present case, extension given in the service is beyond the scope of the Staff Rules, 2017. If the appointment of respondent no.6 (D R Sharma) is considered to be a direct recruitment, then it has to be made after issuing recruitment notice in the newspapers and a selection committee was required to be constituted in this regard. The same has not been followed. On the other hand, if it is considered to be by way of promotion, then the case of first three senior district secretaries was required to be considered.”

Justice Kshetarpal thus said that the extension granted to D R Sharma was clearly beyond what has been provided in the Staff Rules, 2017 and, therefore, liable to be set aside.

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