Issue Of Daily-Wagers In Judiciary:SC Stays Proceeding Before HC For 4-Weeks

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Srinagar—The Supreme Court of India on Friday has stayed proceedings before Jammu and Kashmir high court in a petition pertaining to issue of daily wagers of judiciary.

A bench of Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra issued notice, fixing a returnable date within four weeks, on a special leave petition filed by the government against an order by high court, asking former not to link issue of daily wagers in judiciary with those of other departments.

“There shall be a stay of further proceedings in OWP No. 260/2014 and SWP No. 630/2016 pending before the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir at Srinagar,” said that bench also comprising Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Dr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud .

On,Thursday, the High Court came down on commissioner secretaries of law and finance departments regarding the issue.

“The Officers are not present and no exemption in anticipation of their appearance is sought which reflects not only the non-seriousness of the authorities towards the orders of the court but also of their confidence in derailing the process by filing the SLP before the Supreme Court,” a division bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and M K Hanjura said.

“We would have proceeded against both the officers by framing Rule against them, but the judicial proprietary demands that We may wait for the outcome of the SLP,” the court said, adding, “Till next date consideration of the matter, as such, is deferred.” Last week, the court termed government the approach of linking issue of daily wagers of judiciary with other government departments as ‘brazen violation’ of its orders which amounts to contempt.

“We feel that the orders of this Court are either misunderstood or are deliberately and intentionally not being complied with. Despite there being a clear direction for delinking of the dailywagers of the Judiciary i.e. High Court and the District Judiciary, the respondents are still mixing them with the daily wagers of other government departments,” the court had said.

On March 12, the high court chided government on failure to delink issue of daily wagers of judiciary with other government departments, terming it as ‘brazen violation’ of its orders.

Observing that government action amounts to contempt, the court had ordered personal appearance of commissioner secretary law and finance department to be present before it.

The directions by the court had followed submissions by Additional Advocate General M. I. Dar, that he has instructions on behalf of Secretary to the Government Law Department to submit that the issue with reference to the regularization of daily wagers stands linked with the Policy of the Government notified in terms of SRO 520 of 2017 on December 21 last year and “there is no need of implementing the orders regarding the creation of posts for the High Court and the District Judiciary as requisitioned and observed in various orders” from 8 September 2017.

Government advocate Sheikh Umar Farooq, representing Finance had submitted that the department’s role will come into play only when the proposal was sent by the Law Department for the creation of requisite number of posts.

On March 7, the Court had directed Finance Department to take a final call on the matter related to daily-wagers working in judiciary, underling that the government was unnecessarily linking it to daily wagers of other departments.

With regard to the daily rated workers working in the State Judiciary, the Court had in its order dated 17 December 2016 noted the observations of the Supreme Court: “It is unfortunate in our view, that the State Government has allowed the requirements of the State Judiciary to be neglected over such a long period of time. The need to facilitate the proper functioning of the High Court and the district judiciary is a constitutional necessity which imposes a non-negotiable obligation on the State Government to create an adequate number of posts and to provide sufficient infrastructure. The State Government is to blame for the unfortunate situation which has resulted in a large number of persons being recruited on a daily wage basis.”

Based upon the observations, the high court, in its order dated 17.12.2016 required the State Government to respond to the SC observations. “The matter has gone on since then on several occasions and there is no concrete outcome. In our order dated 03.07.2017, we had, after taking note of the Supreme Court’s strong observations, reiterated that the need to facilitate proper functioning of the High Court and the District Judiciary is a constitutional necessity which imposes a non- negotiable obligation on the State Government to create an adequate number of posts and to provide sufficient infrastructure. We also reiterate the Supreme Court’s observation that the State Government was to blame for the unfortunate situation which has resulted in a large number of persons being recruited on a daily wage basis,” the court had said, adding, “Unfortunately, the respondents have not understood the full meaning and purport of the Supreme Court’s observation and the directions given by this Court from time to time.”

 

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