Rashid Paul

HC flays Edu dept officials for not implementing its orders on ReTs of Anantnag in year 2012

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Says it’s ‘absolutely unavoidable’ to adopt coercive measures against the respondent officials; seeks their personal presence

Srinagar: The High Court today decided to proceed against the top officers of the School Education department including its Commissioner Secretary, Director and a Chief Education Officer for not implementing its directions relating to the selection of Rehbar-e-Talims in the Ananatnag district of south Kashmir since 2012.

The officers have been directed to appear before the court on the 25th of this month making it clear “there is no scope but to proceed in the matter and take the Robkar to its logical conclusion”.

All the respondents are directed to appear in person before the court on the next date of hearing to face the contempt, and the petitioners are directed to identify the evidence for establishing their case, directed the bench of Justice A M Magray.

The bench noted that despite framing rule against the respondents, there is no convincing compliance or the statement of facts filed to consider the matter for passing appropriate orders.

The court is seeking implementation of a judgment passed in the service petition relating to Rebar-e-Talims (ReTs) in the Anantnag district in 2012.

The court in its earlier directions was miffed that “despite a series of its orders directing the respondents to implement the directions passed, no compliance is reported by the respondents.”

Senior Additional Advocate General submitted that the department had filed Special Leave Petition (SLP) against the judgment of the Division Bench which is pending before the Supreme Court, and as such, consideration in the instant contempt petition needs to be deferred.

Contrarily, the High Court found that no such restraint order or proceeding pending before the Supreme Court has been placed on record by the respondents to bring home that argument.

“In the above backdrop, there is no other option left for the court but to frame rule against the respondents. Accordingly, let the Registry issue rule against the respondents in the contempt petition to show cause as to why they shall not be punished for violation of directions passed by the court,” it directed.

In pursuance of the aforesaid order show cause notices were issued to  Rigzin Sampheal, then Commissioner/Secretary to Government, School Education Department; Dr Ghulam Nabi Itoo, then Director, School Education; Dr Naseer Ahmad, then Chief Education Officer, Anantnag; and Mohammad Ibrahim Magrey, the then Zonal Education Planning Officer, Achabal.

The aforesaid respondents filed reply to the show cause notice, except for Mohammad Ibrahim Magrey, the then Zonal Education Planning Officer, who personally remained present in court and sought time to explain his position.

In the reply to show cause notice, the same contentions have been raised by the respondents which stand already dealt with by the court on previous hearings, noted the bench.

“It is thus, evident that the respondents are not only consuming the time of the court, but also delaying implementation of the judgment rendered by this Court on 12th of February, 2015 passed in SWP No.2542/2012”.

The court then arrayed officers including B. P. Singh, the incumbent Commissioner/Secretary to Government, School Education Department; Rigzin Sampheal, the former Commissioner/Secretary to Government, School Education Department; Dr Ghulam Nabi Itoo, the former Director, School Education, Kashmir; Dr Naseer Ahmad, Chief Education Officer, Anantnag; and Mohammad Ibrahim Magrey, the then Zonal Education Planning Officer, Achabal, as respondents.

It accordingly asked them to file compliance and remain personally present before the court to explain their position.

The court then observed that there is evident exclusion of the implementation of the judgment that has earned finality.

“The response appears to be aimed to hoodwink the court to frustrate the proceedings of the case dating as back as to the year 2006 when the petitioners approached this court for redressal of their grievances,” it said.

“The unfortunate state of affairs could be imagined from the averments of the affidavit/response of the officer itself which does not detail out the narration of the events but in essence is reflecting the agony of the petitioners from the word go,” it added.

“The respondents continued as per their own whims and caprice and multiplied the issue manifold that fogged the basic issue involved resulting in depriving the petitioners of their due despite having earned a judgment of the highest court of the Union Territory in their favor,” it said.

The court said the respondent officers are now projecting the closure of the ReT scheme as a handicap.

“However, they need to be reminded that the petitioners are before this court since the year 2006, therefore, the said plea is unacceptable in view of peculiar facts and circumstances of the case,” it added.

“In the above background before the court finds it absolutely unavoidable to adopt coercive measures against the respondents for seeking implementation of the judgment, two weeks last and final opportunity is granted to respondents for filing the compliance,” it observed.

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