HC pulls up Punjab govt for rising litigation

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Sep 08, 2014 21:08 IST

The Punjab and Haryana high court has pulled up the Punjab government authorities for "displaying complete apathetic approach", resulting in increasing of litigation in the courts.

Hearing one such case, justice Mahesh Grover said, "Not once, but many a times over this court, through various pronouncements, has deprecated such an approach of the respondents (government authorities) which displays complete lack of sensitivity and application of mind and also runs contrary to the loud proclamation made by the state that it intends to incorporate a litigation policy which would reduce such kind of litigation."

The petition was filed by Sarup Singh and 33 other retired cooperative inspectors from Punjab's department of cooperation, seeking directions to the Punjab government to implement the high court's earlier judgment, on their union's petition, for fixing their pay scale of Rs 1,800-3,200 with effect from January 1, 1986, with all consequential benefits. However, the cooperation department had denied benefits to the petitioner inspectors, taking the alibi that they were never petitioners before the court in the petition filed by their union earlier. Hence, they were not entitled to any parity of treatment in terms of the earlier high court orders.

However, the court said that this reasoning adopted by the cooperation department was "absolutely unsustainable in the eyes of the law." Justice Grover said, "It is this kind of attitude of the respondents (cooperation department) sans any justification which has resulted in sheer wastage of the time of the court and also resulted in unnecessary hardship to the claimants."

After the court had granted three days' time to the department to grant relief to the petitioners as per the court's earlier judgment, additional registrar, cooperative societies, Dilraj Singh informed the court on Monday that the registrar, cooperative societies, had immediately moved a proposal to the financial commissioner, cooperation department, for implementing the court orders for all inspectors who are similarly situated.

The officer informed the court that the decision of the high-powered committee dated December 6, 2010, and of the financial commissioner dated May 8, 2012, denying benefit to those who had not filed petitions, would now be reviewed. The additional registrar has now sought a week's time to implement the court orders.

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