The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought response from the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition challenging the appointment of Sujan R Chinoy as the Director General of the institute (Adv. Subhash Chandran Kr. Vs. Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis & Ors.)
The plea filed by advocate Subash Chandran KR said that appointment was done without any advertisement or any selection process and without complying with the norms and procedure laid down for such selection by Appointments Committee of Cabinet.
Besides, the plea alleged that Chinoy is not known for his work in the field of defence studies and or any subject related to it.
"Respondent no. 2 was never known to be any entity in the field of Defence studies and analyses throughout his career in the foreign service, had not a single published work in the field of defence studies or any subject related to it and has suddenly been imposed on the premier research institute as its Chief Executive without any relationship with the sensitive field," the plea said.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice in the matter and posted the case for further hearing on November 29.
The plea specifically highlighted a circular dated July 3, 2006 of the Department of Personnel and Training which lays down stipulations with respect to appointment of Chief Executives in autonomous organizations.
"In this regard appointment of Chief Executives in autonomous organizations, clearly stipulates that it has to be carried out by a Search-cum Selection Committee, should mandatorily include at least one outside expert of eminence from the field and it is also mandated that the committee should also include the Chief Executive of the autonomous institution, unless the selection is for the Chief Executive himself."
None of these criteria has been met in the appointment of Chinoy, it was submitted.
Further, the petitioner also referred to Section 13 of the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the institute itself.
As per the same, the Director General shall be “appointed by the Executive Council and his terms of office and other conditions of Service shall be prescribed by the Executive Council”.
However, the appointment of Chinoy has not been made by the Executive Council but has been super imposed on the institute by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, that too contrary to the mandates of their own laid down norms, procedures and practices, the plea said.
The plea, therefore, sought quashing of the order of appointment dated January 2, 2019, through which Chinoy was appointed as the Director General.
The Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis is wholly funded by the Ministry of Defence and was established in the year 1965 after the set back to India in it’s conflict with China.
The institute was established with a view to initiate studies, research and analyses on the subject of National Security and various other related issues.
The institute has 125 life members and 275 ordinary members. The Executive Council (EC) is the Governing Body of the society. The President of the Institute is appointed by the AGM. The Director General is appointed by the Executive Council.
Additional Solicitor General, Chetan Sharma appeared for the Central government body, MP-IDSA.