STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Justice Sanjeev Kumar of J&K High Court on Wednesday granted last opportunity to Chief Secretary and Finance Secretary to comply with the judgment passed by this Court dated May 17, 2001 and affirmed by the Supreme Court in contempt petition filed by petitioners holding civil posts in the executive side viz Superintending Engineers (SEs) with regard to pay anomaly.
The court observed that issue sought to be raised in this petition has since been decided by the Court in SWP No.529/92 on April 7, 1996. In the aforementioned case, petitioners who were members of the judicial service sought benefit of SRO-75 of 1992 and same was allowed. In the present case, same benefit is being sought by the petitioners who are holding civil posts on the executive side. Precise argument which was sought to be raised by the State was taken note of in aforementioned writ petition. Same was negative.
The court observed that the judgment dated May 17, 2001 and affirmed by the Supreme Court is yet to be complied with by the respondents in letter and spirit. They are supposed to issue an SRO amending the Schedule of SRO 75 of 1992 dated March 30, 1992 in the same manner they issued SRO 163 of 2005 in the case of District Judges. The court observed that the Superintending Engineers and the District Judges are required to be treated at par. “Simply, because the compliance of the concluded judgment of a Court involves huge financial implications, the respondents cannot avoid the compliance. The respondents, despite being well aware of the import of the judgment, as is apparent from the memorandum prepared by the Finance Department for submission to the Cabinet for complying with the judgment in the case of Superintending Engineers and subsequently the order passed by the Division Bench on May 28, 2015 and interlocutory order passed by this Court in these contempt proceedings on October 5, 2017, have strangely adopted an adamant attitude and have given impression to the Court that they are above law and are the final interpreters of the judgment passed by this Court. The conduct exhibited by the respondents, on the face of it, is contemptuous and respondents are, therefore, prima-facie in Contempt”, Justice Kumar observed and added, “Before I frame the Robkar and call upon the respondents to show cause as to why they be not punished, I deem it appropriate to afford them a last opportunity of four weeks to come up with full compliance of the judgment dated May 17, 2001 in letter and spirit and also ensure that not only orders on papers are passed but the benefits flowing from such orders passed in compliance to the judgment also reach the beneficiaries, i.e. all Superintending Engineers as have been held entitled to by the judgment sought to be complied with in these contempt proceedings”.
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