The Kerala High Court has observed that there should be a limit to the number of personal staff of ministers and it should apply to the appointment of such staff even for Chief Minister, Chief Whip and the Leader of Opposition.
The court also observed that appointing people as personal staff is inappropriate without fixing any limits. The observation of the Division Bench of the high court came while dismissing a petition filed by Anti-Corruption People’s Movement, an organisation seeking to introduce criteria for the appointment of personal staff.
The Court dismissed the petition on Thursday citing that the appointment of personal staff is a policy decision of the state government.
It also observed that there should be control over the appointment of such staff.
The petitioner also sought that the pension for the personal staff should be cancelled and declared unconstitutional.
Last month, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan raised the issue of life-long pension of personal staff of cabinet ministers of the Left Democratic Front cabinet terming it a mockery of public money and said that he would make it a national issue.
Khan had told the media: “With equal vigour, I will take up the issue where the staff of state ministers become entitled to life-long pension in two years’ time.
It’s a mockery of law and atrocious and public money is squandered. These people are party cadres, but they end up becoming entitled to lifelong pensions.”
He further called the issue highly discriminatory and said it would be his priority to end it.
“It’s highly discriminatory, fraudulent and deceitful. I am going to make it a big national issue. It is a violation of the spirit of the constitution. It will be my priority to bring it to an end. This money belongs to the people of Kerala and not to the cadre,” he further said.