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Sikkim HC Fixes June 8 Hearing for PIL on Sunil Saraogi’s Appointment as CM’s OSD

Sikkim High Court

Concerns Raised Over Sunil Saraogi’s Appointment as CM’s OSD

Gangtok: The Sikkim High Court has set June 8, 2023, as the next hearing date for a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the appointment of Sunil Saraogi as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Chief Minister of Sikkim. The PIL was filed by Jit Bahadhur Subba, raising concerns about Saraogi’s appointment due to his previous role as a practicing lawyer registered with the Bar Council of West Bengal at the time of his appointment.

The petitioner argues that Saraogi should not have been engaged as the OSD to the Sikkim Chief Minister. Furthermore, the petitioner asserts that Saraogi’s appointment as the Executive Chairman and Director of Teesta Urja Ltd, a public company substantially owned by the Government of Sikkim, goes against the provisions stated in the Sikkim State Public Services Act, 2006.

Sunil Saraogi with Sikkim's CM, Gyan Prakash Upadhyaya, Amit Shah and Chief Secretary

Legal and Propriety Aspects Examined by the Court

During the hearing on May 18, the Sikkim High Court observed that the case involves two primary aspects: legality and propriety. The court expressed initial suspicions regarding the private respondent on both counts. However, before reaching a final decision, the court has granted the respondents a fortnight to file their respective counter-affidavits. Any replies to the counter-affidavits should be submitted within a week thereafter. The court has clarified that the ongoing proceedings will continue unaffected by the case pending before the court.

Respondents Given Time to File Counter-Affidavits

In response to the PIL, the court has provided the respondents with an opportunity to file counter-affidavits within a fortnight from the hearing date. Following this, any replies to the counter-affidavits should be filed within a week. This procedural step aims to ensure a fair and comprehensive examination of the case.

State Government Unaware of Saraogi’s Lawyer Status, Bar Council Takes Action

During the hearing, the state government, represented by the Additional Advocate General, acknowledged that they might not have been aware of Sunil Saraogi’s status as a practicing lawyer registered with the Bar Council of West Bengal at the time of his appointment as OSD to the Chief Minister. Responding to this issue, a Senior Advocate representing the Bar Council of India informed the court that appropriate measures have already been taken against Sunil Saraogi, including the issuance of an order.

Next Hearing Scheduled for June 8, 2023

The Sikkim High Court has scheduled the next hearing in the PIL challenging Sunil Saraogi’s appointment as the Sikkim CM’s OSD for June 8, 2023. This hearing will continue the deliberation on the matter and provide an opportunity for further examination of the concerns raised by the petitioner.

Also Read: The Committee-pe-Committe Sarkaar Must Apologise to the People of Sikkim: HSP

Gangtokian Web Team, 20/05/23

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