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PIL against Azam’s appointment as ex-officio head of Jal Nigam

The Allahabad High Court has dismissed a petition challenging the appointment of Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister Azam Khan as ex-officio Chairperson of UP Jal Nigam.

The Lucknow bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Shree Narain Shukla passed the order on a PIL, which sought a writ of “quo warranto” in respect to the holding of the office of Chairperson of UP Jal Nigam by Azam Khan.

While dismissing the PIL, the court observed “the fourth respondent (Azam Khan) was appointed as Chairperson of the Jal Nigam in the capacity as Cabinet Minister entrusted with the portfolio of Nagar Vikas.

“Since the appointment in the capacity is an ex-officio appointment and the fourth respondent continues to hold the portfolio in the cabinet, the tenure of three years would not be attracted under sub section(1) of section 6, the tenure of three years does not apply to ex officio members.”

The petitioner had submitted that Azam was appointed as Chairperson by a notification dated March 30, 2012 and that upon completion of three years from the date of notification, he would be deemed to have demitted office.

This argument of petitioner was opposed on behalf of the state government, contending that the Azam’s appointment was as ex-officio Chairperson, hence tenure of three year did not matter.