Dal Lake: HC Miffed Over ‘Unnecessary Delays’ By Govt

 J&K High Court – File Photo

Orders Personal Appearance Of Com Sec JSD, Asks CS To Take Note

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has ordered personal appearance of Commissioner Secretary to Jal Shakti Department even as pulled up government counsel for causing “unnecessary delays”.

“The respondents (officials) have neither filed the reply nor are they represented before us,” a bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta said while an application filed in PIL regarding conservation and preservation of Dal Lake.

“Let the Commissioner / Secretary to Government, Jal Shakti Department of J&K, remain present in person on the next date of hearing,” the court said, adding, “We may note that despite service of advance notices / copies of the petitions, counsels appearing for the official respondents are never prepared to make submissions in opposition, resulting in completely unnecessary delays.”

The court said that it appears that no effort is made to obtain instructions from Government departments to assist the Court on the first date of hearing and it is taken for granted that notices would be issued in a routine.

“No effort is made to oppose the matter. As a result, interim orders which have serious repercussions (for instance stays of land acquisition for large infrastructure projects; stay of selection processes which have been conducted after following long procedures; stays of transfers and posting orders; interim protection to encroachers amongst others) results,” the court said, adding, “We find that these cases remain pending for decades. As a result illegalities are perpetuated for decade’s together having the heavy burden on the public interest as well as public exchequer.”

The court said that the service of advance copy before filing means that a counsel representing the opposite side is well prepared to assist the Court.

“This is the practice followed in other courts. Let a copy of this order be served upon the Chief Secretary and the Secretary, Law Department, to ensure that henceforth, a more efficient practice in the interest of government is adopted,” the court said and posted the case on October 22. (GNS)

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