Special rules for appointment of personal staff not bad or illegal: HC

December 02, 2022 12:20 am | Updated 12:20 am IST - KOCHI

The special rules prescribed for the appointment of personal staff of the Chief Minister and other Ministers cannot be said to be bad or illegal, said the Kerala High Court on Thursday. The order was issued by the court on writ petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the appointment of personal staff to the office of the Chief Minister, Ministers, Leader of the Opposition, and the Chief Whip through special rules. However, a Division Bench of the court consisting of Chief Justice S. Mani Kumar and Justice Shaji P. Chali noted that it was always discernible to have a cadre strength to serve the Chief Minister and the others.

Dismissing the petitions challenging the appointment of the personal staff, the court held that the petitioners could not make out a case of arbitrariness or unfairness. The appointment of personal staff was co-terminus with the service of the Ministers and hence cannot be equated with a regular process of recruitment, the court held.

The special rules were constituted to ensure that the Ministers, the Leader of the Opposition, and the Chief Whip may have to carry on their political, administrative and official activities by reposing confidence in such persons and maintaining utmost confidentiality and secrecy. The Ministers would have to consider many sensitive issues while in office. It would not be possible to carry out such functions without reposing absolute confidence in the personal staff and hence they were given the liberty to make selection of the candidates for appointment to the post, the court held.

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