SRO 43 Compassionate Appointment | Implement judgment or face contempt: High Court to Government

GK File Photo of J&K High Court Srinagar/Mubashir Khan
GK File Photo of J&K High Court Srinagar/Mubashir Khan

Srinagar, June 29: Miffed over the delay in implementing its judgment with regard to a compassionate appointment under SRO 43, the High Court Tuesday asked the authorities in the Roads and Buildings department to implement it within four weeks or face contempt proceedings.

Underscoring that “action and conduct” on the part of the authorities has, prima facie, made them liable for contempt of the court, a bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey said that it was just and proper to grant last and final opportunity to them for submitting compliance of the judgment of the court.

The court granted the authorities four weeks as a “last chance” for filing compliance failing which they have to appear in person before it on July 30.

“Besides, the respondents (officers) have to remain present in person before the court on each and every date of hearing till the contempt petition is taken to its logical conclusion,” the court said.

The remarks came after the court noted that instead of complying with the terms of the judgment, the authorities while issuing the rejection order dated 10 February 2021, have sit in appeal against the judgment, which, the court said, in no circumstances, was within their power and authority.

“The judgment passed by the writ court is a declaration made in favour of the petitioner declaring him eligible for appointment on compassionate grounds on application of SRO 43 of 1994,” the court said.

It held that the authorities by no stretch of imagination had the authority to reverse the judgment or sit in appeal against it by applying some other SRO to the case of the petitioner.

One Ghulam Muhammad Lone had approached the court in a contempt plea with the contention that his father was working as a Road Supervisor in R&B department who died in harness on 3 November 1999.

Lone contends that on 2 February 2000, he filed an application for seeking appointment on compassionate grounds in terms of the mandate of SRO 43.

He submits that while his application was processed by the Executive Engineer, R&B Division, Kulgam, thereafter, instead of taking a formal decision on it, the authorities referred the matter to various authorities and delayed consideration of his case.

Following this delay, the petitioner submits that he approached the court seeking directions for his appointment in terms of SRO 43 pursuant to the death of his father in harness.

The court in terms of judgment dated 10 February 2016 arrived at the conclusion that the delay, which was mainly attributed to the conduct of the authorities, could not have become the reason for denying the claim of the petitioner for being appointed on compassionate grounds.

Accordingly the court while disposing of the petition, directed the government to consider and offer appointment to the petitioner on compassionate grounds in keeping with SRO 43.

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