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The Madras High Court today issued notice to the state government on a petition challenging the appointment of a Tamil Nadu Assembly employee to a top post in the House.

Justice T Raja, before whom the petition from L S Vasanthimalar, Additional Secretary, Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and B Subramaniyam, Joint Secretary, came up for hearing, issued notice to the government and to the governor’s secretary and posted the matter for further hearing to March 1.

The petitioners challenged the appointment of K Srinivasan as special secretary of the assembly by the government, vide an order dated December 14, 2017.

They said the staff of the assembly are governed by Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Secretariat Service Rules 1955 according to which the governor is the appointing authority to all Class I posts in the state.

The petitioners submitted that in such a scenario the government appointed Srinivasan, who is private secretary to the speaker, as special secretary in a newly- created post.

Only officials holding post of additional secretary in the General Administrative Wing can be appointed special secretary or secretary, they contended.

The petitioners also submitted that Vasanthimalar is legally entitled to be appointed secretary to the assembly after the retirement of the K Boopathy, now the secretary on February 28, according to seniority and rules.

They sought a direction from the court for a declaration that the post of special secretary and secretary in the assembly can be held only by persons holding posts of additional secretary or joint secretary or deputy secretary in the General Administrative Wing.

The plea also sought an interim injunction restraining the secretary of the legislative assembly and secretary to governor from in anyway appointing or promoting or permitting Srinivasan to take charge or function as special secretary of the assembly pending disposal of the writ petition.

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