The Bombay High Court on Wednesday sought reply from the Maharashtra government to a plea by retired state and central government officials who had challenged the decisions of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led government to stay or cancel orders passed by the previous Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government relating to appointments on state panel and various schemes.
A division bench of Justice S V Gangapurwala and Justice M S Karnik was hearing a writ petition by four pensioners – Kishore Gajbhiye, Ramhari Shinde, Jagannath Abhyankar and Kishore Medhe – along with social activist Sanjay Lakhe Patil, challenging the new government’s move.
The plea stated that the impugned decisions also included cancellation of petitioners’ appointment to the Maharashtra State Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission. It added that the decision of the present CM to stay schemes which are in the interest of Scheduled Castes, Tribes and Backward Classes was “arbitrary, unwise and politically motivated” and “were taken in absence of duly constituted council of ministers or cabinet.”
The bench questioned advocate Satish B Talekar if the plea was a public interest litigation (PIL), to which he responded in negative. The Court then indicated that it would ask the state to respond to only those impugned GRs which concerned the petitioners. After Talekar sought status-quo order, the bench said that since the matter was before it, no specific order was required.
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Seeking the state’s response, the Court posted further hearing to August 17.