Friday, December 09, 2022

Regional

Commision (HPSC) members getting pay with annual increment

Yadavindra S Rana | September 24, 2022 09:12 AM

CHANDIGARH : The Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) has got two new members on Friday-- Jyoti Bainda, who for the past six years was Chairperson of Haryana State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (HSCPCR)  and other Rajinder Kumar, who retired as Principal this year from State's School Education Department. Both were administered oath of
office and secrecy by Governor Bandaru  Dattatrey  at Raj Bhawan on Friday. 

Meanwhile, an Advocate at Punjab and Haryana High Court, Hemant Kumar stated that there was  no  provision for administering oath to either Chairman or  Members of neither Union nor State Public Service Commissions (PSC), like HPSC in the Constitution of India.

”Such an oath has only been prescribed in PSC Service Regulations framed by appropriate Governments. However, as regards Chairman and Members of UPSC, such oath is not at all administered by President of India  unlike Haryana, where Governor administers the same to both HPSC Chairman as well as its Members, ” says he. Pertinent that only last year in
June, 2021 the ruling BJP-JJP  Government reduced strength of Members in HPSC from erstwhile 8 to 5 by making amendment in  HPSC (Conditions of Service) Regulations, 2018. 

Meanwhile he asserted that  HPSC Regulations of 2018 were framed by   repealing the earlier framed  similar regulations of 1972 under Article 318 of the Constitution of India. in Dec, 2018 although they came into force retrospectively with effect from January 1, 2016.  

Immediately, he wrote  to then Governor,  Chief Minister, then Chief Secretary DS Dhesi (now Chief Principal Secretary to CM)  objecting  over provision for increment linked Pay  to HPSC Members alike  Principal Secretary to State Government but till date no reply is received as the Chairman of HPSC gets pay equal to that of  Chief Secretary.    

 In his representation he wrote that as per IAS (Pay) Rules, 2018 Chief Secretary was placed in Level 17 in Pay Matrix whereas  Principal Secretary was placed in Level 15 in Pay Matrix. In Level 17, the pay is fixed at  Rs 2, 25, 000 per month  whereas in Level 15,   it ranges from Rs 1, 82, 200 to Rs 2, 24, 100.    Thus, Chairman of HPSC receives a fixed Pay equal to that of Chief Secretary i.e. Rs 2, 25, 000 (excluding allowances) but in respect of other Members,   their Pay without allowances
would not be fixed and as per Regulation 7(3) of the above 2018 HPSC Regulations, the Members would evenget annual increment.  
 The Advocate objected that it  was not constitutionally appropriate although not illegal per se to fix the Pay/Salary of Member of a Constitutional Commission (HPSC) at par with that of Principal Secretary level officer of State Government  whose Salary is not fixed and such the Member would too get Pay with annual increments alike such IAS Officer. The member
of HPSC is appointed for a period of six years or till he attains the age of 62 years, whichever is
earlier. 
He further asserted that although it was  prerogative of the State Government to decide upon quantum of Pay/Salary admissible to Members of State PSC by prescribing the same in Regulations framed under Article 318 of Constitution but it would be wiser if their Pay (excluding allowances) is determined as fixed  as is the case with  members of UPSC where as
per UPSC (Members) Amendment Regulations, 2017  the Pay of Chairman is Rs 2, 50, 000 and of Members Rs 2, 25, 000, thus both being fixed.  He says even in erstwhile HPSC Regulations of 1972, the Pay (remuneration) of HPSC Chairman and Members used to be fixed which was although increased from time to time by successive state governments.

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