HC secures presence of Principal GMC, grants one month’s time to comply with earlier court orders
Determination of service, pension benefits of employee …
Srinagar: J&K High Court today secured the presence of Principal Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar, Dr Saima Rashid, through a warrant executed through Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) to the tune of Rs 5,000 for not determining the service and pension benefits of an employee.
In the post lunch session, respondent Dr Samia Rashid was made to appear in person wherein she sought one month’s time to comply with the judgment of 2016 where under the contempt petition against her had arisen.
The Court also warned framing of rules (in respect of contempt) against the Principal. It also directed stoppage of her salary for unjustifiably not determining the service and pension benefits of an employee who has now turned 77.
The Court directed to secure the presence of respondent Principal through issuance of bail-able warrant to be executed through SSP, Srinagar, to the tune of Rs 5,000.
The order was issued by Justice Javed Iqbal Wani in a contempt petition by Abdul Rashid Wani, a former employee of the College, against Dr Pawan Kotwal, Principal Secretary Health, Dr Saima Rashid Principal GMC and others.
M I Qadri, senior advocate representing the petitioner told Kashmir Images that Wani, (the petitioner) had retired from his services in 2003 but the GMC is yet to determine his service and provide him the pensionary benefits.
Decades ago he approached the court for getting a direction to the authorities to provide him his service benefits. A judgment was decreed in his favor in 2016. But the authorities at the College sat over his case and did not comply with the court order, advocate Qadri said.
He added the petitioner, having now turned 77 years of age, has been forced to file a contempt petition.
Justice Javed Iqbal Wani hearing the case said “there has been unjustified delay in complying with the order by the respondents, in particular by Principal GMC. This warrants framing of rule against the said authority”
However the framing of rule against the Principal was deferred. The court afterward took a lenient view by providing her a last opportunity of one month’s time for complying the judgment.
The court directed “until such time, the judgment/order is not complied with, the Respondent no. 2-Principal, GMC, shall not draw her salary/perks and other emoluments”.
Records reveal that the judgment in favor of the petitioner Wani has been upheld by the LPA Bench as well as by the Supreme Court of India.
An order passed on 14th of March this year by the High Court discloses that one more opportunity was granted to the Principal GMC. She was asked to coordinate with the Director Health Services so as to ensure that the court order is complied with.
A perusal of the order further reveals that the court had explicitly made it clear that it was the sole responsibility of the Principal GMC to report compliance of the order. In the event of a failure she was directed to appear in person.
As the case was taken up today Justice Wani found that neither the compliance report had been filed nor the respondent Principal was present.
On this M A Chashoo additional advocate general (AAG) of J&K produced a compliance report by the Principal.
Examining the report Justice Wani found that the 2016 order of the High Court had not so far been complied with. Instead the petitioner retired employee has been asked to produce certain documents including his service book.
Justice Wani perused the report and said “there is a sordid state of affairs on the part of the official respondents in general and the Principal in particular”.
He observed that this warrants initiation of coercive measures for seeking compliance of the order of the court.
However, before undertaking such coercive measures, the court directed the AAG to produce the Principal GMC before the Court in post lunch session at 3:00 PM.
The AAG however expressed his inability to produce the respondent Principal. He requested that her appearance be secured through appropriate mode.
The Court right away directed to secure the presence of respondent Principal through issuance of bail-able warrant to be executed through SSP, Srinagar, to the tune of Rs 5,000.
The matter was taken up in the post-lunch session. Respondent Dr Samia Rashid, the Principal had by then been made to appear in person. Her presence was secured in terms of a bail-able warrant.
Upon asking of the Court as to whether she was alive to the orders passed by the Court from time to time and in particular the order dated 14.03.2022, the Respondent Principal fairly conceded that she was alive to the orders. However, she expressed her inability to comply with the judgment and the order for unknown reasons.
Yet, she simultaneously sought one month’s time to comply with the judgment of 2016 where under the contempt petition against her had arisen.
Rashid Paul is Associate Editor at Kashmir Images.
He can be reached at email@example.com