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Only President can remove Chairman

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, June 22 � Though Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has announced that Additional Chief Secretary SC Das would probe the allegations of irregularities in the selection of candidates for appointment in the State civil services by the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC), it is doubtful whether such a probe would be fruitful because, according to provisions of the Constitution of India, only the President of India can remove or suspend the chairman or a member of a state public service commission. Moreover, the formal notification of the probe has not yet been issued.

As per the provisions of Article 317 of the Constitution of India, the chairman or any other member of a public service commission can be removed from his or her post by an order of the President of India on the ground of �misbehaviour� after the Supreme Court, on a reference made to it by the President, reports that there is ground for removal. Same is the procedure for suspension of the chairman or a member of a public service commission.

But the President can also remove the chairman or a member of a public service commission if he or she is adjudged insolvent or engages in any other paid employment outside the duties of his office. The President can further remove the chairman or any other member if, in his opinion, the person is unfit to continue in office by reasons of infirmity of mind or body.

Meanwhile, highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that as per provisions of the Constitution, the state governor can appoint the chairman and members of a state public service commission, but for their removal, approval of the President is necessary. However, the chairman of a public service commission can face arrest if a criminal case is registered against him or her. Such an incident had taken place in Punjab.

Sources said that if the State government wants to remove the Chairman of the APSC following widespread demands, a formal letter would have to be written to the President of India. If the President is prima facie satisfied with the request of the State government, he can order a probe by the Supreme Court and do the needful.

Sources said the probe, sought to be ordered by the Chief Minister, can find out prima facie evidence of irregularities, if any, in the selection of candidates by the APSC. If any irregularity is found, the State government can approach the President, armed with concrete evidence.

Meanwhile, sources said that the formal notification of the probe is yet to be issued. The State government has so far received five complaints of irregularities in the selection of candidates. But it is still not decided whether only the five cases of complaints would be probed or whether the entire selection process would be probed. This will be decided only after the government formally announces the terms of reference of the probe penal, sources added.

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Only President can remove Chairman

GUWAHATI, June 22 � Though Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has announced that Additional Chief Secretary SC Das would probe the allegations of irregularities in the selection of candidates for appointment in the State civil services by the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC), it is doubtful whether such a probe would be fruitful because, according to provisions of the Constitution of India, only the President of India can remove or suspend the chairman or a member of a state public service commission. Moreover, the formal notification of the probe has not yet been issued.

As per the provisions of Article 317 of the Constitution of India, the chairman or any other member of a public service commission can be removed from his or her post by an order of the President of India on the ground of �misbehaviour� after the Supreme Court, on a reference made to it by the President, reports that there is ground for removal. Same is the procedure for suspension of the chairman or a member of a public service commission.

But the President can also remove the chairman or a member of a public service commission if he or she is adjudged insolvent or engages in any other paid employment outside the duties of his office. The President can further remove the chairman or any other member if, in his opinion, the person is unfit to continue in office by reasons of infirmity of mind or body.

Meanwhile, highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that as per provisions of the Constitution, the state governor can appoint the chairman and members of a state public service commission, but for their removal, approval of the President is necessary. However, the chairman of a public service commission can face arrest if a criminal case is registered against him or her. Such an incident had taken place in Punjab.

Sources said that if the State government wants to remove the Chairman of the APSC following widespread demands, a formal letter would have to be written to the President of India. If the President is prima facie satisfied with the request of the State government, he can order a probe by the Supreme Court and do the needful.

Sources said the probe, sought to be ordered by the Chief Minister, can find out prima facie evidence of irregularities, if any, in the selection of candidates by the APSC. If any irregularity is found, the State government can approach the President, armed with concrete evidence.

Meanwhile, sources said that the formal notification of the probe is yet to be issued. The State government has so far received five complaints of irregularities in the selection of candidates. But it is still not decided whether only the five cases of complaints would be probed or whether the entire selection process would be probed. This will be decided only after the government formally announces the terms of reference of the probe penal, sources added.