Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Govt reappoints legislative department secretary PK Malhotra for 1 year on “functional grounds”

THE government has decided to retain PK Malhotra, secretary to legislative department and the officer who spearheaded drafting of major UPA legislations, for one more year after retirement. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) in an order dated September 19, approved Malhotra’s reappointment, now on a contract basis for a…
period of one year beyond his superannuation on September 30. The order said, it was necessary on “functional grounds” without explaining the exact circumstances under which the government decided to retain the retired officer at the helm for one year.
An Indian Legal Service veteran, Malhotra was a member of Securities and Appellate Tribunal (SAT), Mumbai before being appointed as secretary to the legislative department last December. VK Bhasin was his predecessor. An MA and LLM, Malhotra had earlier served as an additional secretary in the ministry of law and justice.
The other important assignments handled by Malhotra included that of chairman of Adjudicating Authority under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Judicial Member of Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, legal adviser to the government of Guyana, South America (on foreign assignment) and member, COFEPOSA Preventive Detention Advisory Committee. He was also a legal adviser for the ministry of finance, commerce, communication, railways, labour and cabinet secretariat.
He had also represented the nation in a WTO Dispute Resolution Tribunal at Geneva in a dispute between India and European Union.
Malhotra has recently been entrusted to work on a new law to deal with match-fixing and betting in the wake of the IPL spot-fixing scandal. The existing IPC is considered to be grossly inadequate to deal with this new crime.
In fact, in the backdrop of the nature of the work, legislative department secretary gets a chance to work very closely with the political brass of the ruling establishment.
During the British Raj, the secretary to the legislative department was also secretary to the Council of the Viceroy so long as making laws was concerned. He and the law member drafted all bills which were then placed before the Council. For example, the Indian Penal Code which is still in force was the result of the original work of Thomas Babington Macaula.

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