Non-release of payment to contractor| 
Isn’t it a case of running Govt by money of people: HC asks Govt
File photo of J&K High CourtMubashir Khan/ GK File

Non-release of payment to contractor| Isn’t it a case of running Govt by money of people: HC asks Govt

Srinagar: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh took a very strong note in a case alleging non-release of payment by the government after the execution of the work by the contractor, holding that if this is the state of affairs and this is how the citizens are treated by the state, only Almighty can save us.

While holding that the petitioner cannot be denied the fruits of litigation which was unjustifiably thrust upon him by the respondents, the single bench of Justice Sanjeev Kumar said: “I am pained to observe that the respondents have no respect for the court orders and even in cases in which the claim of the petitioners is admitted, respondents take years to make the payment despite there being directions from this court to do so in a time bound manner.” The court observed: “Present case is a quintessential of the manner in which the authorities at the helm of affairs are acting. It is not understandable as to why the Wullar-Mansbal Development Authority and other departments of the government invite tenders and get the works executed by the contractors when they have no money to discharge their liabilities. Is not it a case of running the government by the money of people?”

The court said that shifting of responsibility by the respondent authority to the administrative department cannot be an excuse to delay the payment which is admittedly due to the petitioner.

The court directed the Commissioner/Secretary, Tourism Department, to take note of the observations made by the court in its order, and release the requisite funds as demanded by the CEO, Wullar-Mansbal Development Authority, within a period of four weeks so that the admitted payment of the petitioner is released. “It is made clear that if the needful is not done, the Commissioner/Secretary, Tourism Department and the CEO, Wullar-Mansbal Development Authority, shall appear before this court on the next date of hearing to answer the charge of contemp.” The court listed the contempt petition on October 20.

The petitioner in the contempt petition has complained non-compliance of the judgment dated 18.2.2021 passed by the HC in OWP No. 555/2017, by the Wullar-Mansbal Development Authority. The petitioner has executed the work more than eight years back but is still awaiting the payment.

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