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Sikkim HC orders counter-affidavits in PIL challenging appointment of OSD to CM Tamang

First Published: 19th May, 2023 14:51 IST

The case was adjourned to 8th June 2023 for further consideration

The Sikkim High Court has expressed grave concerns regarding Sunil Saraogi’s appointment as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang.

In response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) involving Saraogi’s appointment, the High Court on Thursday asked the involved parties to file counter-affidavits.

The petitioner, Jit Bahadur Limboo, alleged that this appointment violated the provisions of the Sikkim Public Services Act, 2006, specifically Section 3.

Adding that Sunil Saraogi was practicing as an Advocate registered with the Bar Council of West Bengal at the time of his appointment as OSD, the petitioner said that under the Sikkim Public Services Act, 2006, an Advocate from another jurisdiction could not be appointed as an OSD to the Chief Minister of Sikkim.

The petitioner also claimed that Sunil Saraogi, while holding the position of OSD, was also appointed as the Executive Chairman and Director of Teesta Urja Ltd., a public company primarily owned by the Government of Sikkim.

The Government of Sikkim, represented by the learned Additional Advocate General stated that they may 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.

During the hearing, the Senior Advocate representing the Bar Council of India, the fourth respondent in the case, informed the court that they had taken action against Sunil Saraogi and issued a prohibitory order against him.

Sunil Saraogi’s advocate expressed his client’s intention to file a counter-affidavit in response to the allegations made in the PIL.

After considering the arguments presented, the court found that there were two main aspects to be considered: the legality and propriety of Sunil Saraogi’s appointment.

The court expressed concerns about both aspects and decided to provide a chance for all respondents to file their respective counter-affidavits within two weeks.

A reply to the counter-affidavits, if any, is to be filed within a week thereafter.

The court clarified that the ongoing proceedings would not hinder the Bar Council of India from taking further action against Sunil Saraogi as per the law.

The case was adjourned to 8th June 2023 for further consideration, and in the meantime, the State Government was given the freedom to take appropriate steps in accordance with the observations made by the court.



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