New Delhi : Once the President of India takes a decision on any appointment, the government is bound to issue the order in a day or two or else the very sanctity of his office is put in question. The Modi government, however, cares hoots for such niceties and the constitutional requirement.
President Ram Nath Kovind last month asked his office to enquire about the fate of the appointment of retired nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar a chairman of the IIT Roorkee as ordered by his predecessor Pranab Mukherjee in July 2017.
The Rashtrapati Bhawan accordingly wrote to the Human Resources Development Ministry to know why the President’s order has not been implemented even after 14 months, nor any request made to review the order.
A letter went out from P Praveen Siddharth, an officer on special duty in the Rashtrapati Bhawan to the HRD Ministry to know about the progress of the appointment of Kakodkar and reasons for the inordinate delay.
Pranab Mukherjee had cleared a proposal made by the ministry to appoint Kakodkar in the first week of July 2017, stating that it had already obtained the scientist”s consent.
Satya Narayana Sahu, former press secretary to erstwhile President KR Narayanan, said the delay in implementation amounts to nullifying the order of the President. “This is a gross violation of norms and propriety and the legality. Once approval is given by the highest office of the Republic, it is a command which has to be executed. If that is not done, it is disrespect to the head of the state,” he said.
“Anything approved by the President has legal and constitutional sanctity, which is inviolable. Any decision by the President flows from the oath he has taken to protect and preserve the Constitution,” Sahu said.
Higher education secretary R Subrahmanyam wriggled out saying the matter is receiving attention of HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and further queries be posted to his office.
Only if the Rashtrapati Bhawan suo moto withdraws an appointment by the President, the ministry can safely not implement.
However in IIT Roorkee’s case, the Rashtrapati Bhawan has not been informed of non-implementation of the approval.