The J&K High Court on Monday ordered government to stop release of pay in favour of the Chief Engineer, I&FC Department Kashmir, till further orders.
The directions by a bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey while hearing a contempt petition regarding non-compliance of the court’s judgment regarding service petition.
The orders were passed by the court while Ashok Kumar Sharma, Chief Engineer, Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Kashmir, Srinagar, present in person.
The court said that judgment passed by it in writ court on 24.12.2014 in SWP 109/2008, which has achieved finality after disposal of the appeal by Division Bench of this court on 5 May 2015. The petitioner seeks implementation in the instant contempt petition with further prayer that respondents be punished for the contempt of the court.
“The judgment of the Single Bench dated 24.12.2014 was passed about four and a half years back and its implementation is sought in the present contempt petition, CPSW 875/2015, which too is pending for the last four years,” the court observed.
The court said that perusal of the proceedings reveal that the notice in the contempt petition was issued on 28.12.2015, thereafter the state counsel appeared for the respondents on 16.4.2016 and sought two weeks’ time to file statement of facts/compliance.
“On 7.5.2016, when the statement of facts was considered, perused thereof revealed that respondents evaded to implement the order while waiting for the decision of the Letters Bench in the appeal,” the court said. Therefore, the counsel for the respondents was given time to submit compliance before framing rule against the respondents.
“During these four years, as and when this contempt was taken up, the approach of the state counsel was to delay the implementation citing pendency of time-barred appeal along with condonation of delay application bearing number 1108/2015 and thereafter a Review petition filed by the respondents,” the court observed.
After perusal of the Review Petition, the court observed that on 6.8.2018 that the respondents sought time to report compliance.
“Without going into the details of the orders passed from time to time it shall be relevant to take note of the order dated 11.3.2019 when the counsel appearing for the respondents sought time to either report orders of the Supreme Court in SLP claimed to have been filed by the State against the decision of this court or to submit the compliance,” the court said, adding. “The court while noticing delay in implementation of the orders had granted further time to either submit the orders of the Supreme Court in their SLP having bearing on the decision of the contempt or to submit the compliance. More than two months have passed since, yet no response is filed.”
On Monday when the matter was taken up, the officer present in person as also his counsel submitted that the matter is under active consideration of the government—Commissioner Secretary, I&FC Department, Civil Secretariat, Srinagar.
“Since there is no compliance filed by the respondents, it is directed that the release of pay shall be stopped in favour of the Chief Engineer, I&FC Department, Kashmir, Srinagar till further orders,” the court said and also ordered Commissioner Secretary I&FC Department to report compliance by Monday failing which same orders will be followed in his case. The court ordered listing of the case on 3 June 2019.