Deccan Chronicle

Centre intentionally removed Mohanty's name, says CS Somesh's lawyer

Deccan Chronicle.| dc correspondent

Published on: June 8, 2022 | Updated on: June 8, 2022

CS defends CAT's verdict to reverse Centre's action

Telangana chief secretary Somesh Kumar. (Photo:@TelanganaCS)

Telangana chief secretary Somesh Kumar. (Photo:@TelanganaCS)

Hyderabad: Senior counsel appearing for Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar concluded arguments on Tuesday in a batch of writ petitions before the Telangana High Court which challenged the allotment of 15 All India Service Officers to Telangana state.

In his arguments, senior counsel D.V. Seetharama Murthy defended Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) orders, which reversed the Union government's decision in allotting Somesh Kumar to Andhra Pradesh.

Senior counsel Murthy argued before a division bench comprising Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice S. Nanda that the Pratyush Sinha committee included the name of Dr P.K. Mohanty, the then chief secretary of undivided AP government, in the list of officers to be allocated between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The Centre intentionally removed the name of Mohanty from the list depriving Somesh Kumar the opportunity of getting allocated to the Telangana state.
Mohanty was in service on 01-6-2014 during which he issued a series of GOs. But the Centre’s decision to remove him from the list forced Somesh Kumar to get allotted to Andhra Pradesh.

The CAT had rightly quashed the Pratyush Sinha guidelines and under these circumstances, when the guidelines were quashed, Somesh Kumar continued to be with Telangana State, argued senior counsel.

Denying swapping options to unreserved direct recruit outsiders and giving the same to direct recruit reserved categories regardless of their insider or outsider status violated Article 14. Thus the guidelines were prima facie illegal, Murthy argued.

The nomination of Mohanty as the member of the division committee which allocated the officers was illegal and attracted the provisions of the doctrine of bias because of the presence of his own daughter and son-in-law who were looking forward to  cadre allocation, Murthy said.

"Somesh Kumar is an outsider and hails from an unreserved category. Hence, he could not get the benefit of swapping with the officer of same cadre the opportunity and benefit which is given to officers belonging to SC, ST, thereby showing discrimination towards Somesh Kumar," argued senior counsel.

After the conclusion of arguments of Somesh Kumar, the bench asked the government to commence its argument. As the state took time to argue its case, the bench posted the case to June 16. Later, the Centre will convey its reply to the arguments of Somesh Kumar and the state.

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