" Pahadia, whose five-year term as governor ended Saturday, gave the permission just before his successor arrived."
Chandigarh, July 28 - Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda's decision to go ahead with controversial appointments of five people to constitutional posts even as these were red-flagged by a senior officer were Monday questioned by the opposition in the state.

Hooda had hurriedly administered oath of office to two commissioners of the state information commission and three to the Right to Service Commission at his residence Sunday just a couple of hours after new Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki took charge.

The oath for constitutional posts, especially to the state information commission, used to be administered by the governor.

These appointments are illegal and unconstitutional. What was the need to administer oath to them on a Sunday and that too at his residence. All this was done even after the new governor took charge, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Anil Vij said Monday.

Opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) also termed the appointments as unconstitutional and said that it would take up the matter with the new governor to declare these null and void.

The Hooda government has also been left embarrassed by the objections raised against the appointments by senior bureaucrat Pradeep Kasni. He red-flagged the appointments saying that some of the appointees were holding office of profit under the Haryana government and also some were not qualified enough for the posts.

He also raised questions about the procedure followed in making the appointments.

However, Chief Secretary S.C. Chaudhary Monday said that all the appointments of the commissioners made by the state government were legal and no irregularity has been committed.

Terming Kasni's objections as misleading, baseless and far from facts, he claimed that all members had fulfilled requisite qualifications and no one was holding any office of profit during the appointment.

He said that the governor, who is the appointing authority, had authorized the chief minister to administer oath to the newly-selected members.

Once the governor has authorized the chief minister, he can administer oath to any member, Chaudhary asserted.

On Sunday, former bureaucrat and Hooda confidant Shiv Raman Gaur and Rekha, wife of Hooda's political advisor Varinder, were administered oath of office by Hooda at his official residence here.

In the Right to Service Commission, Hooda administered oath to senior bureaucrat Sarban Singh, who took premature retirement, Amar Singh, husband of a high court judge and Sunil Katyal, a law officer with the Haryana government.

Breaking from past tradition of information commissioners being administered oath by the state governor, Hooda got the permission from outgoing governor Jagannath Pahadia to administer oath to the new commissioners himself.

Pahadia, whose five-year term as governor ended Saturday, gave the permission just before his successor arrived.

On his last day in office Saturday, Pahadia had also cleared the appointment of three vice chancellors for a three-year term each.


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