SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court on Tuesday came down heavily on the Executive over failure to comply with its orders regarding release of Rs 4.5 crore for payment of salaries to 38 judicial officers and the staff attached to Additional Special Mobile Magistrate courts.
The officers and staff are without salary from last five months and on July 30, a division bench headed by the Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar had taken serious note of it after court’s Registry informed about the matter.
The bench also comprising Justice Hasnain Massodi had directed government to immediately release Rs 4.5 crores for the payment of salary and despite assurance, the government hitherto has failed to comply with the court’s orders.
As the case came for hearing before the division bench on Tuesday, Additional Advocate General Tasaduq Khawaja submitted that cabinet has not met after passing of the order by the court on July 30 and as such some more time may be granted.
“We have been hearing it from last two weeks. Implementing the court order is not wisdom of cabinet,” Chief Justice responded, adding that the government cannot take courts for granted.
“Sir, we are not disrespecting any order. The cabinet has to take a call about it,” Khawaja replied.
“We only want the order to be implemented,” Justice Masoodi said and later considered Khajawa’s submissions with a rider.
“if the order is not complied with and the amount is not sanctioned, then Chief Secretary, Law and Finance secretaries shall appear in person before the court on next date of hearing to state as to why the July 30 order is not complied with so that appropriate action can be initiated against such officers,” the court said and posted the suo-moto PIL for further consideration on August 18.
The 38 additional special mobile magistrate courts were established under 13th Finance Commission in lieu of creating the morning and evening courts in the state for improving justice delivery system.
The Registry’s had informed the court that Government of India has stopped funding under the scheme due to which from March this year, the Judicial Officers as well as the staff was not getting their salary. The registry said that the salary amount required for the financial year 2015-2016 was Rs. 10, 38, 97,152. It said a sum of Rs. 86,58,096 was required as monthly salary and an amount of Rs. 4,32,90,480 for clearing the pending salary of the judicial officers and the staff for five months from March to July this year.