HC censures Govt on delay in implementing its decisions

Hearing a contempt petition by one Dr M K Bhandari, a bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey said it was necessary to ask the Law Secretary to make available a copy of the litigation policy notified by the Government for ensuring settlement of cases pending against it.
HC censures Govt on delay in implementing its decisions
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Disapproving of the delay in implementing its decisions, the High Court on Wednesday directed Law Secretary to inform it about the litigation policy notified by the Government for settlement of the pending cases.

Hearing a contemptpetition by one Dr M K Bhandari, a bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey said itwas necessary to ask the Law Secretary to make available a copy of thelitigation policy notified by the Government for ensuring settlement of casespending against it.

After the courtreproached government, additional advocate general Shah Aamir assured the courtthat the government was committed to comply with the directions of the court.

Observing that if anofficer heading the department examines the litigation policy, the court saidhe would of course ensure adherence to the same. "Resultantly, the hugelitigation which is pending against his department will get minimized."

The court grantedfour weeks as last opportunity to the authorities concerned to implement theorder it has passed on April 17, 2015.

Observing that thecontempt petition has remained on board for last nearly five years, the courtsaid the petitioner is alleging violation of final order it issued on 17 April2015. In terms of the said order the court had disposed the petition anddirected the respondents to comply with their own statutory rules in respect ofposts of 'A Grade Specialist' in Health and Medical Education Department andrefer the same to the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC)/Public ServiceCommission (PSC).

While the court hadasked the DPC/PSC to consider all eligible candidates in accordance with rulesfor appointing them by promotion on the post, it had asked the government tocomply with the statutory rules and make promotions within three months. Thedirection, the court said, was required to be complied with within a period ofthree months. "Even on expiry of about five years, the respondents have notmade the reference."

The court said UnderSecretary Health and Medical Education Department ( H& ME) filed thestatement of facts on behalf of the Principal Secretary H&ME  on December 13, 2017 which, it held, revealsthat the department was in the process of collecting the requiredclearances/APRs of last five years, integrity and work conduct certificates,posting details of all eligible candidates of the department. Therefore, thecourt said, the officer had sought time to complete the process to refer theposts to the DPC/PSC.

The court said itsintervention became necessary when the petitioner approached it.

Observing that thegovernment has accepted its order without any challenge, the court said theorder has become final. "Once the Court order becomes final, there is no scopefor the respondents to delay its implementation, as the delay amounts tofurther contempt of the Court."

Pointing out thatsince 10 December 2015 the contempt petition was listed and considered by theCourt 33 times, the court termed it "painful to see the delay in implementationof the order".

Observing that ithas witnessed hue and cry about non-implementation of its orders which havebecome final, the court said: "This is not the first time that the Court isreminding the Government about the approach it has adopted".             "Court cannot doubt the bona fideapproach of the officer; maybe there are weaknesses in the system, which arenot allowing him to take the process to the logical conclusion in tune with thedirections of this Court".

The respondentofficer, the court said, has to accelerate his all apparatus available andensure that there was no default on account of non-adherence to theinstructions issued from time to time for the officers under his control whomay be contributing for the delay in the process of implementation of the Courtorders.

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