HC directs personal appearance of law, forest secretaries tomorrow
SRINAGAR: The J&K high court on Tuesday directed secretaries of law, justice and parliamentary affairs as well as forest department to appear before it on June 2 at 2 p.m. to show cause as to why they should not be punished for court contempt for non regularization of a law officer who is working in the forest department from last seventeen years.
As the contempt petition filed by the law officer, Rabia Shah, came up for hearing before a division bench of Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, Commissioner Secretary General Administration Department filed an application, seeking extension in time for the implementation of the court’s judgment. However, the secretary GAD informed the court that law department returned Rabia’s file, advising to place the matter before an empowered committee by downgrading the post held by her to the pay scale of Rs 6500-10500 in consultation with Finance Department.
“The stand taken by the Law, Justice and Parliamentary department, is directly in conflict with the directions of the court. Thus Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, is also impleaded respondent. In such circumstances, the Secretary, Law Justice & Parliamentary Affairs, as well as the Secretary, Forest Department, are directed to appear in person before this court on 02 June 2016 at 2 p.m. and show cause as to why they should not be punished for committing contempt of the court,” the division bench said.
On May 19 last year, the court had directed government through chief secretary to issue order of regularization in favour of Rabia Shah within four weeks and that she was to be given all consequential benefits which she is entitled to.
In the petition, Rabia, a law graduate, had submitted that she joined the Forest Department in 1990 and discharged her duties as Law Officer. She had sought confirmation and release of grade for the post of Law Officer.
According to her, the post was substantively vacant and available and she continues to hold the post. As her services were not been regularized, she had a petition in 1991 and prayed for regularization of her services. At that time, she said, concerned authorities promised to considered her grievance and she withdrew the petition on 08 July 1999. Subsequently, the Principal Secretary Forest Department, passed the Government order, according sanction her placement in the pay scale of Rs. 6500-10500 for a period of six months or till the post was filled up by the competent authority under rules. “She shall continue to draw this salary against the post of Law Officer in the Forest Department,” read the order which shall have effect from the date she withdraw the petition.
By virtue of the order, she is continuing in the scale of pay for the post of Law Officer for about seventeen years.
Her counsel, Zahoor A Shah stated that even though the Forest Department as well as the Finance Department recommended the case, she has not been regularized.