Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey of State High Court on Monday directed to stop the release of salary in favour of Chief Engineer, I&FC Department, Kashmir till further orders while hearing a contempt petition filed by Tahira Banoo.
The court further directed Commissioner Secretary I&FC Department to file compliance report by Monday failing which same orders will be followed in his case.
While stopping the release of pay of CE I&FC Kashmir, the court observed that judgment of the Single Bench dated December 24, 2014 was passed about four and a half years back and its implementation is sought in the present contempt petition, CPSW 875/2015, which too is pending for the last four years.
Perusal of the proceedings revealed that the notice in the contempt petition was issued on December 28, 2015 thereafter the State counsel appeared for the respondents on April 16, 2016 and sought two weeks’ time to file statement of facts/compliance. On May 7, 2016, when the statement of facts was considered, it was revealed that respondents evaded implementation of the order while waiting for the decision of the Letters Bench in the appeal therefore, the counsel for the respondents was given time to submit compliance before framing rule against the respondents.
During these four years, as and when this contempt was taken up, the approach of the State counsel was to delay the implementation citing pendency of time-barred appeal along with condonation of delay application bearing number 1108/2015 and thereafter a Review petition filed by the respondents.
After perusal of the Review Petition, it was noticed on August 6, 2018 that the respondents sought time to report compliance. “Without going into the details of the orders passed from time to time it shall be relevant to take note of the order dated March 11, 2019 when the counsel appearing for the respondents sought time to either report orders of the Supreme Court in SLP claimed to have been filed by the State against the decision of this court or to submit the compliance. The court while noticing delay in implementation of the orders had granted further time to either submit the orders of the Supreme Court in their SLP having bearing on the decision of the contempt or to submit the compliance. More than two months have passed since, yet no response is filed”, the court observed. However, the officer present in person as also his counsel submitted that the matter is under active consideration of the government i.e. Commissioner Secretary, I&FC Department, Civil Secretariat, Srinagar.