Chandigarh: The Punjab government has issued a notice and withdrawn the extension period given to Manisha Gulati, chairperson of the Punjab State Commission for Women.

Earlier on February 1, the Punjab government removed Manisha Gulati from the post. Orders in this regard were issued by the Social Security and Women Development Department. However, the government rollback the orders after Gulati moved to the High Court challenging the decision.

There are still five months left for her term to end. In an order issued by additional chief secretary Kripa Shankar Saroj, it was said that rules were not followed while giving extension of service.

In March 2018, during the tenure of the previous Congress government led by Captain Amarinder Singh, Manisha Gulati was appointed chairperson of the Punjab Women’s Commission. In 2020, her tenure was extended by three years. She also joined the BJP on February 20, 2022.

The order issued by the department to Manisha Gulati said that there is no provision in the Punjab State Commission for Women Act 2001 (and further amendments) regarding the extension of the existing chairperson or members of the commission. The tenure of the chairperson and members is for three years.

Under the rule, whenever the posts of chairperson and members have to be filled, it has to be advertised in newspapers. No person can be appointed to such an important post without following due process.

For the appointment of chairperson, a three-member committee headed by the Minister for Social Security and Women and Child Development, Punjab, has to be constituted, officials said.

As per the procedure, the chief secretary and the principal secretary of the department will be members in the committee. This committee will screen the candidates. After this, the file of the election of the candidate will be sent to the Chief Minister. The appointment letter will be issued by the Chief Minister.

“No recommendation was made by the members of the committee before the letter was issued on September 18, 2020. Apart from this, there was no advice from women’s organizations,” officials said.

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