Howsoever High One May Be, One Has To Respect The Law: HC

Srinagar—Whosoever high he may be, has to respect the law, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court observed on Thursday as it directed personal appearance Commissioner Secretary Power Development Department, Managing Director JK Power Development Corporation on May 2 in a contempt petition.

Hearing a petition filed by one Ghulam Qadir Wani, a bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey also directed government to deposit Rs 50 lakhs before the court’s registry 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,” the court said.

The petitioner seeks implementation of the Judgment passed by the Court on 8 April 2015 quashing the decision of the Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation, rejecting the claim of the petitioner with reference to payment of his post retiral benefits with further direction to pay the pensionary/retiral benefits including gratuity etc to him in accordance with the rules within a period of four weeks.

The government challenged the order 08 April 2015 in Letters patent Appeal before the Division Bench which was dismissed on 14 July 2015. The officials had filed a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court, which too was dismissed on 16 November 2015.

“Despite the Judgment of this Court having got finality way back on 16.11.2015, the respondents are not implementing the same, delaying in implementation of the Judgment amounts to further contempt of the Court,” the bench of Justice Magrey said.

When asked, R. A. Khan, AAG appearing counsel for the respondents submits that the Corporation had taken up the matter with the General Administration Department for seeking implementation of the order by passing Government order. He has produced photocopy of communication received from Deputy Secretary to the Government General Administration Department addressed to the Managing Director, J&K Power Development Department Corporation bearing No. GAD(ser) Genl/36/2017 dated 25.01.2018, perusal whereof reveals that GAD has asked the Corporation to implement the Judgment in its letter and spirit as they have no role to play in it.

“Court fails to understand as to how the respondents will continue to harass the petitioner and to add his miseries/agony. Petitioner present in person, submits that the only hope with him was to seek justice speedy and expeditious, but he is about to lose the faith in the institution of justice, as the respondents despite knowing the fact that the Judgment has earned finality.”

“Who shall be responsible for ensuring erosion in the system and weakening the democratic institutions created for the betterment of the public, of course in the present case, it is the respondents who

have chosen not only to delay the implementation of the Judgment but also are ensuring that they shall not feel accountable, as Court has adopted liberal approach. Respondents have taken the liberal approach adopted by the Court as a license to proceed in the matter as per their likings, whims and caprice.”

On consideration of the matter, the Court felt that the respondents in the plea deserve no more concession of liberal approach and shall be dealt with sternly in accordance with law. “Law of contempt is well recognized for ensuring supremacy of the Courts and the dignity, honour and the prestige, which is above all in the system. Whosoever high he may be has to respect the law and no one has cheeks to show disrespect as prima facie established in the present case by the respondents.”

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