HC stays appointment of industrial court president

Bilaspur, Aug 26: The Chhattisgarh High Court has stayed the appointment of the president of the industrial court, Raipur on the ground that the state government did not consult it.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice Rajani Dubey said in the stay order passed on Wednesday that the state government could not have made the appointment without consultation with the high court. The matter concerns the principle of separation of power and the high court’s control over the subordinate judiciary, the bench said. The HC’s order came on a petition filed by Malay Jain challenging the appointment of Agralal Joshi as president of the Industrial Court earlier this month.
The state government amended the Chhattisgarh Labour Judicial Service (Recruitment and Conditions of Service) Rules, 2015. As per the amendment, the state government need not consult the high court for appointment to the post, said Jain, who argued in person.
Subsequently, the government appointed Joshi on August 12, he said. The HC said that the appointment order of August 12, 2021 “shall remain stayed, till further orders.
Joshi would be restrained from functioning as President, Industrial Court, the HC added.
During the hearing through video link, Advocate General S C Verma had argued that the state had the power to make this appointment.
The high court said the power does lie with the government.
“The real issue is whether the requirement of consultation with the high court can be done away with,” especially in the light of the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Labour Law Practitioners’ Association which brought it within the high court’s ambit, the judges said. …we are of the prima facie view that the appointment of President, Industrial Court, could not have been made without consultation with the High Court, as it affects the separation of power and High Court’s control over the subordinate judiciary, it added.
Final hearing on the matter would be conducted from October 4, 2021, the HC said, seeking a reply from the state government.

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