SRINAGAR The High Court on Friday ordered police assistance to implement its orders regarding Dr Saima Rashid who continued to hold the post of Principal Government Medical College Srinagar despite the states top court quashing a cabinet order on February 28.
As the court ordered to list the case at 4 P.M. after hearing the case in the morning, the government passed two ordersone by Principal Secretary Health and Medical Education Department and other by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, giving charge of the post of Principal Government Medical College to Dr Kaiser Ahmad Kaul, Head of Department (Paediatrics), GMC, till further orders with immediate effect.
Last week the high court had asked the government to reveal the authority under which Dr Saima Rashid was continuing as Principal GMC despite quashing of a cabinet order by it whereby she was appointed as the Principal.
Hearing a contempt petition filed by Dr Javid Choudhary against violation of court’s February 28 judgment, a division bench of Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Tashi Rabstan disapproved the governments stand Dr Saima was continuing as an interim arrangement on the orders of Health and Medical Education Department in the interest of patient care and that the arrangement will be reviewed on 6th-7th May and decision taken accordingly.
As the case come up for hearing, senior additional advocate general Javed Iqbal placed on record the copy of the communication addressed to him by the Deputy Secretary to the Government, GAD, perusal whereof reveals that the matter for regular appointment of the Principal was under consideration of the Government.
He said because of Darbar Move and the engagement of the officers with the Election related matters, the meeting of the Selection cum Establishment Committee could not be convened after March 8. He said Government is in the process of complying with the judgment within two weeks positively.
We have heard counsel for the parties and considered the submissions made. No explanation is submitted by (Dr Saima Rashid) regarding her continuation as Principal, Government Medical College Srinagar despite quashment of the appointment order, from February 28, the court observed.
prima facie it is apparent that (Dr Saima Rashid) is holding the post with absolutely no legal or justifiable authority. The respondents (government) do not deny that (Dr Saima Rashid) is continuing on the post. Otherwise also, there are communications and orders placed on record that would show that (Dr Saima) is continuing on the post, the court said, underling that the prestige, honour and dignity of the court is supreme and nobody, irrespective of the stature, would be allowed to play with the honour or dignity of the court orders.
The contempt jurisdiction is a special jurisdiction which has to be exercised sparingly, whenever an act affects the administration of justice or which tends to impede its course or tends to shake the public confidence in the judicial institutions, the court said, adding, It is not only the power but the duty of the court to uphold and maintain the dignity of the courts and majesty of law which may call for such extreme steps. If for proper administration of justice and to ensure due compliance with the orders passed by the courts, it is required to take strict view under the Act it should not hesitate in wielding the potent weapon of contempt.
The court said that it was prima facie convinced that the stand taken by the government for making regular appointment against the post but we reflect our serious concern regarding the non-implementation of the part of the judgment which provided for making interim arrangement for running the day to day affairs of the College.
The stand now taken by the GAD that (Dr Saima) is working as Principal as an interim arrangement is belied by the approach adopted by the respondents as they could not produce any order to support such view, the court said and ordered government to ensure implementation of the judgment within two weeks from today.
They shall also ensure making the interim arrangement as directed by the Court by or before the next date, the court said and ordered that Dr Saima Rashid shall stop functioning as Principal, Government College, Srinagar, from today in compliance to the judgment.
Registrar Judicial, Srinagar, shall ensure implementation of the order by 4.00 pm today and report compliance. The matter be listed again at 4.00 pm.
The Registrar Judicial, the court said, shall associate the Inspector General of Police to facilitate compliance in the event any difficulty is faced by her in ensuring compliance of the directions.
Respondents 1 and 2 shall ensure interim arrangement in the meanwhile by or before the next date and till such time respondent no. 2 shall ensure smooth and proper functioning of the College and the Associated Hospitals. It shall be the responsibility of the Principal Secretary to the Government, Health and Medical Education Department to ensure that the patient care does not suffer till the interim arrangement is made.