Rashid Paul

HC asks Principal GMC to step down; raps govt for inaction

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Srinagar, May 03: The J&K High Court on Friday directed Dr. Samia Rashid to stop functioning as Principal, Government College (GMC) Srinagar in compliance to the judgment passed by the court that quashed her appointment.

“The respondent no. 3 (Dr. Samia Rashid) shall stop functioning as principal GMC from today in compliance to the judgment passed by this court (on 28th of February 2019),” read an order by Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Tashi Rabstan.

The judges directed the Registrar Judicial Srinagar to ensure implementation of the order by 4.00 pm Friday and report compliance. Given the import of the matter the case was directed to be listed again at the stated time.

“Learned Registrar Judicial shall associate the Inspector General of Police to facilitate compliance in the event any difficulty is faced by him in ensuring compliance of the directions,” stated the order.

It also directed “respondents 1 (Chief Secretary) and 2 (Principal Secretary Health and Medical Education Department) shall 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 bench directed “the 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 made Principal Secretary H&ME department responsible for ensuring proper patient-care till the interim arrangement is made.

The court while hearing a petition that challenged a cabinet order of 2017 appointing Dr. Samia Rashid as Principal GMC had quashed the appointment order terming it illegal.

It had also directed the authorities to make the in-charge or temporary arrangement to run the day-to-day affairs of the office of the Principal GMC.

The judgment/final order of the court was alleged to have been violated by the respondents, propping up a contempt petition.

In an affidavit, the government told the court that the authorities are in the process of implementation of the judgment including regular appointment of the Principal GMC.

However, the Principal Secretary H&ME department failed to convince the court as to under whose authority or orders Dr. Samia Rashid was continuing on the post of principal.

The court observed “respondents cannot even plead ignorance of the directions passed as all of them have been regularly represented by their counsels, therefore, the disobedience is with knowledge right from 28th February, 2019, and not vice-versa”.

It said “prima facie it is apparent that the respondent no. 3 is holding the post with absolutely no legal or justifiable authority. The respondents do not deny that respondent no. 3 is continuing on the post”.

It held “prestige, honor and dignity of the court is supreme and nobody, irrespective of the stature, would be allowed to play with the honor or dignity of the court orders”.

For proper administration of justice and to ensure due compliance of court orders, the bench said “strict view under law should not hesitate the courts in wielding the potent weapon of contempt.”

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