HC imposes Rs 10,000 fine on Mission Director SRLM, others for filing 'misconceived' appeal

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J&K High Court has imposed Rs 10,000 fine on Mission Director, State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM) and another officer of the department for filing an appeal which was later dismissed as “misconceived and without merit”.  

A division bench of Chief Justice Gitta Mital and Justice Puneet Gupta while dismissing the plea held that the appeal filed after 275 days delay was totally “misconceived”. “In our view, judicial time has been unwarrantedly wasted by filing an appeal which is completely without merit,” the bench said.

Dismissing the appeal as well as the application seeking condonation of delay, the Court directed the appellants to deposit within two weeks the fine in the Advocates Welfare Fund.

“Proof of deposit shall be placed before the Registrar Judicial”, the Court said, asking Registrar Judicial to convey the order to the appellants and in case they failed in depositing the costs imposed on them within the stipulated time period, then place the matter before the Court for appropriate orders. The appellants had challenged the order dated 4 August 2017 passed by the single bench in a petition filed by one Tariq Ahmad Bhat.

Bhat had challenged the order dated 30 August 2016 issued by Additional Mission Director SRLM Kashmir terminating the cancellation of the hiring of an Innova vehicle along with driver with effect from 25 March, 2016 in SRLM Kashmir.

While the hiring had been sanctioned through order dated 31 March 2016 for one year strictly as per the approved rates of J&K’s Transport Commissioner, an interim order dated 24 October 2016 was passed in the writ petition staying the operation of the order of termination. As a result of order of stay, the order of sanction dated 31 March, 2016 remained operative. By an order dated 4 August, 2017, the single bench had noted that hiring of the vehicle was for a period of one year which had expired on 31 March 2017.

“As such, the order dated 31 August 2016 terminating the hiring of the vehicle had lost its efficacy.”

In this background, the Court had disposed of the writ petition with a direction to the respondents that they remained legally obliged to adhere to the terms and conditions of the order dated 31 March 2016. They were also directed to work out the hiring and fuel charges as was payable to the owner of the vehicle for the period beginning from 1 April 2016 till 31 March 2017.

“The order which was passed by the learned single judge was in accordance with law and warranted in the facts of the case,” the division bench said while dismissing the appeal.