CHANDIGARH: 22 NOVEMBER 2011 : The appointments of Sh. K.S. Bhoria, IAS (retired) as Chairman, and those of Sh. Yudhavir Singh, as Member, Sh. Subhash Kaushik, as Member, and Smt. Mukesh Lata Gupta, as Member of Haryana Tax Tribunal came under HC scanner today with a Bench of Justice M.M. Kumar and Justice R.N. Raina issuing notices for 02 December to State of Haryana, and Chairman and 3 Members of said Tribunal, whose appointments were made in May/ June, 2011.
HC Bench also issued notice to Bhupinder Singh Hooda (by name) as the petitioner, Vikas Miglany, Advocate, had alleged in the petition (filed as a PIL) that “Yudhavir Singh is the brother-in-law of Sh. Hawa Singh Hooda, the present Advocate General of State of Haryana (the real sister of Yudhavir Singh is married to Sh. Hawa Singh Hooda, A.G. Haryana). Thus, it is clear that even by violating the provisions of Section 57 of the Haryana VAT Act, 2003, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, CM Haryana, in order to oblige the Advocate General of his State, has given appointment to Yudhavir Singh as a Member of Haryana Tax Tribunal for the second term.”
While issuing notices to the respondents, the HC Bench recorded that petitioner/s advocate, HC Arora has argued that no procedure worth the name has been followed by the CM Haryana while making above appointments. Earlier, the Govt. had cleared the names of Justice S.L. Bhayana (Retd.), as Chairman, and Yudhavir Singh/ Subhash Kaushik / Rajender Ballah, as members, vide proceedings dated May 6, 2011 and subsequently vide noting sheet dated May 24, it was stated that “on re-consideration, the CM has decided to appoint Sh. K.S. Bhoria, IAS (retired) as Chairman, and Sh. Yudhavir Singh, as Member, Sh. Subhash Kaushik, as Member, and Smt. Mukesh Lata Gupta, as Member of Haryana Tax Tribunal. Bench also recorded Arora’s contention that no procedure as mandated under article 14 of the Constitution was followed, nor there was any selection committee constituted. Bench also noticed the argument of petitioner’s Counsel that no procedure akin to what has been mandated by Full Bench of the HC in Salil Sabhlok’s case (PPSC Case) has been followed by the respondent-Government while making aforesaid appointments.
Bench also took note of Counsel’s argument that under Section 57 (8) (i) of Haryana VAT Act, 2003, as amended in 2009, there is a provision that Chairman of the Tribunal can be given second term, whereas under Section 57 (8) (ii) thereof, there is no such provision for giving such second term to Members of the Tribunal. Yet, Yudhavir Singh has been given second term as a Member in violation of the statutory provisions of Haryana VAT Act, 2003.