HC miffed at ‘wilful delay’ by govt in implementing court orders

HC miffed at ‘wilful delay’ by govt in implementing court orders

Srinagar: The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on Tuesday observed that Government authorities were wilfully causing delay in implementing court orders.

Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey while hearing a contempt plea reproduced all the orders passed by the court in a plea on different set of dates where court had directed respondents to release salaries and arrears in favour of Class-IV employees of the Health and Medical Education (H&M) department.

The judge remarked and recorded that these orders not only reflect the conduct of the respondents but also give an idea of how wilfully the delay has been caused in implementing the court orders.

Justice Magrey further noted that the respondents have for the very first time disclosed that they have taken recourse to the filing of a Special Leave Petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court of India challenging the High Court Judgement dated 19 March, 2020.

While giving reference to High Court Judgement of 1989, Justice Magrey recorded that it was the duty of each and every person who is a party in a proceeding before a court to comply with the orders of the court and if he has any grievance against the order he is free to file appeal or to make application before that court for modification or discharge of the same, but unless that order is stayed, varied or modified, the party concerned has no justification to flout the order of the court.

“Thus, a mere filing of the appeal under Article 136 of the Constitution before the Supreme Court against any order of the High Court cannot be a justification for disobedience or non-compliance of the orders of the High Court. Of course the position would be different if the Supreme Court takes cognisance of appeal and passes any positive order of stay,” Justice Magrey said.

Justice Magrey said that without going into such an issue, the court contemplates to proceed with the contempt petition in tune with the procedure established by law.

“But before doing so, let the Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department, file his affidavit and reflect therein the progress the SLP has shown from the date of its filing. The needful shall be done within one week,” he directed.

“List on 23rd August, 2021, as case no. 1,” he said.

In a previous hearing, the High court had sought personal appearance of officers for non-compliance of directions passed by it.

It had also rejected the stand taken by respondents in a statement of facts revealing that the authorities concerned have totally failed to understand the judgment and order passed by the court in its correct perspective while saying there was absolutely no doubt or ambiguity in the same.

In a judgement passed on March 19, 2020, the court had directed the government to release the withheld as well as the future salary of the petitioners in lieu of the services rendered or to be rendered by them in the respondent department as Class-IV employees, notwithstanding pendency of any inquiry against them.

However, the court had given liberty to the respondents for conducting the inquiry regarding genuineness or otherwise of the appointment of the concerned Class-IV employees, including the petitioners, to its logical conclusion as well as taking the subsequent necessary follow up action on the basis of the final outcome of the said inquiry in accordance with law.

In this regard, the court noted that the official respondents have not complied with these clear directions and have yet again tried to reiterate the stand, which they had taken before the writ Court regarding the alleged fraudulent engagement of 129 Class-IV employees of district Bandipora.

“The statement of facts and the stand taken therein is absolutely off the mark and is, accordingly, rejected,” it had ruled.

The bench had directed, “Let compliance be shown positively within three weeks from today and the salary including arrears be paid to the petitioners, failing which this Court shall be constrained to pass appropriate orders.”

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