Srinagar: “Pained” at the continuous violation of court orders by officials, the J&K High Court on Monday called for “urgently” setting up a system to ensure online intra-department notification, and compliance, of the court’s orders.
The court said, “It is the responsibility of the office of the Advocate General and Secretary Law to create such a system. They are required to communicate the copy of the court order to the authority/ officer concerned as well. They are also required to ensure compliance,” the court directed.
The court passed these directions while hearing the case of a litigant, Prakash Kour, who had referred to a court order passed on 6 October, 2017, directing the government to consider the case of the petitioner in light of the Recruitment Rules of the year 1998 with utmost dispatch, preferably within a period of eight weeks.
The court noted that over 35 weeks had passed since the order but “on hearing after hearing, we are seeing the impunity with which the official respondents are violating binding orders of the court.”
“We are extremely pained by the conduct of the respondents on account of the non-compliance of the judgment dated 6th October 2017 of the Division Bench of the court upheld by the Supreme Court. No person or authority can be permitted to conduct itself in this manner,” a division bench of Chief Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta said.
The court remarked that this was not the only case where such contumacious conduct had been observed. “In case after case, hapless citizens are harassed and tormented by the officials by non-complying with court orders,” the court said.
CJ Mittal noted that the entire system appears to be steeped in inefficiency and incompetence despite a veritable army of lawyers representing the respondents.
“More serious is the agony and to a successful litigant and the public money which is being wasted in paying fees/ charges to Government pleaders for their fruitless appearances in court to seek adjournment after adjournment, a deep rooted systemic malaise,” the bench recorded.
“In the interest of justice, we give one very last opportunity to the respondents to place compliance of the orders of this Court, subject to payment of costs of Rs 1500/- for every date they have taken an adjournment starting from 22nd of May, 2018, till date,” the court said.
“The costs shall be deposited by the SKIMS authorities with the Jammu & Kashmir State Legal Services Authority within two weeks from today and the proof of deposit shall be brought on record,” the court directed.
The court also noted that in these hard times when hearings are being conducted on virtual mode with a lot of difficulties, these kinds of dilatory tactics have been adopted.
“Given the manner in which the respondents had proceeded in the matter, we make it clear that in case the compliance report is not filed before the next date of hearing, this Court shall take a serious view in the matter,” the court warned.
The court also directed that a copy of the order be sent to the Chief Secretary; Secretary Law Department, Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and the Advocate General to ensure compliance of the orders passed by this Court.
“Let an examination be undertaken by the Law Secretary and an action plan on the above issues be drawn up which be scrutinized by the Chief Secretary and placed before us,” the court directed.