STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Taking a serious note, Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey directed Commissioner-Secretary to the Government, Power Development Department (PDD); Managing Director, JK Power Development Corporation (JKPDC), to appear in person in a contempt petition on the next date of hearing.
Court also directed respondents shall also deposit Rs. 50.00 lakhs before the Registry of this court against the claim of petitioner of his retirement benefits including gratuity. Failure of the respondents in complying with the judgment in tune with the order passed today shall constrain the court to adopt the coercive methods, Justice Magrey observed.
In the contempt petition, petitioner has sought implementation of the Judgment passed by the Court on 8.4.2015 in SWP No. 184/2011, whereby the Court on adjudication of the matter had quashed the decision of the Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation, rejecting the claim of the petitioner with reference to payment of his retirement benefits, with further direction to pay the pensionary/ retiral benefits including gratuity etc., to in accordance with the rules, which are applicable to the employees of State Government and to pass orders in this behalf within a period of four weeks from the date copy of the order is served.
Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey after hearing both sides observed that Commissioner Secretary and Managing Director were present in the court on 22nd March, 2018, and had sought time to file statement of facts/ compliance.
The compliance report filed by the Managing Director is only an eye-wash aimed at to delay the implementation of the judgment which has earned finality after dismissal of the SLP by the Supreme Court. The competence of the Commissioner-Secretary and the Managing Director cannot be a ground of non-compliance of the judgment.
Petitioner is craving hard for release of his retirement benefits including the gratuity. The petitioner is entangled in a protracted litigation and is before the court since 2011, looking at the course of justice as his last and only hope to redress his grievances. The petitioner has visibly lost the physical strength and is stated to have developed multiple ailments during the pendency of this long drawn litigation.
Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey observed that the respondents would undoubtedly be responsible for any mishap that may, God forbid, happen in the meanwhile. The sorry state of affairs cannot be allowed to run any further. The inaction of the respondents is not only depriving the petitioner of his legitimately earned dues as pensionary benefits, which is held to be the property of an employee by the Supreme Court, but is putting the family, the dependents of the petitioner, to the unwarranted hardships also. The Supreme Court in the case titled State of Jharkhand & Ors., vs. Jitendra Kumar Srivastava & Another, has held that pension of an employee is in the nature of a property and it cannot be taken away without due process of law. The Supreme Court has so held while referring to the decision of the Constitution Bench Judgment of the Supreme court passed in case titled Deokinandan Prasad vs. State of Bihar reported as, wherein the right to receive pension has been recognized as a right to property.
In such a scenario, if the court remains a silent spectator that would amount to contributing to the wrong done by the respondents and will certainly shake the faith of the society in the judicial institution, Justice Magrey observed.
Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey observed that here is no option left for the court but to seek the personal appearance of the respondents, Commissioner-Secretary to the Government, Power Development Department; Managing Director, JK Power Development Corporation, on the next date of hearing. Respondents shall also deposit an amount of Rs. 50.00 lakh before the Registry of this court against the claim of petitioner of his post retiral benefits including gratuity. Failure of the respondents in complying with the judgment in tune with the order passed today shall constrain the court to adopt the coercive methods.
Court directed Registry to list this matter on May 2, 2018 and also directed the bank authorities shall not honour/ encash any bill of the respondents in case of their failure to deposit the requisite amount.
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