The Telangana High Court on Wednesday asked the state government to appoint a chairperson for the State Womenâ€™s Commission by December 31. The court warned that if the government delays the appointment any further, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar will be summoned to explain the delay. The commission has been without a chairperson since July 2018 and the state government has since dragged its feet on making a new appointment to the statutory body, despite repeated criticism.
A division bench of the Telangana High Court comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy passed the order while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a social activist R Ramya Rao.
Advocate General B Prasad, representing the Telangana government, had sought time from the High Court to finalise a chairperson. The court expressed its displeasure with the repeated delays while passing the order. This is not the first time that the Telangana High Court has set a deadline for the state government to make an appointment to fill vacant posts of several statutory bodies.
The court had earlier asked the state to make the appointment of the chairperson for the commission by November 18. The state government insisted that the appointment of the chairperson was being contemplated seriously. The state government responded to the court a day before the deadline, on November 17, by launching a website for the State Womenâ€™s Commission. The portal enables women to lodge complaints.
In February this year, the National Commission for Women (NWC) had also directed Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar to make the appointment immediately. However, no action was taken.