Andhra Pradesh High Court raps Jagan regime over appointment of advisors
The appointment of many number of advisors to the YSRCP-led Andhra Pradesh government has come under the High Court's scanner yet again, with a division bench headed by Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra calling them "extra-constitutional forces".
The HC on Wednesday said it would conduct an in-depth inquiry into the appointment of advisors and directed the state government to file a counter affidavit with all details.
The High Court division bench, also comprising Justice D V S S Somayajulu, set aside a Government Order issued early this month appointing J Srikanth as advisor to the Endowments Department.
"These advisors have become extra-constitutional forces. Where is the need for an advisor to a government department. Is there any shortage of officers," the bench asked.
"If we leave it like this, they may appoint an advisor even to the Advocate General," the bench remarked.
In July last year, Justice Battu Devanand questioned the need for engaging so many advisors at a huge cost to the people's exchequer.
"Even the High Court judges do not enjoy the privileges and facilities that these advisors are bestowed. Should not the government look into the state's financial condition," the judge had questioned about the appointment of advisors.
He noted that lakhs of rupees of public money was being paid as remuneration to the advisors, besides provision of various facilities and even "special facilities".
Advocate General S Sriram had then contended that "the present challenges and circumstances in the state cannot be judged with reference to any past situation and therefore no advisor could be considered unnecessary or a burden on the exchequer."
"It is under the constitutional scheme and entirely within the discretionary space of the Chief Minister to decide on appointment of suitable advisors to advice on various issues which would be involved in the policy making of the government. The same is not contrary to any provisions of the constitution or any legislation," the AG argued.
Since it assumed power in May 2019, the YSRCP government had appointed a number of advisors, most of them in the rank of Cabinet minister.