Stopping just short of issuing a contempt of court notice, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday summoned Punjab's principal secretary, finance, along with complete records for failing to take a decision to fill 1,925 posts of lecturers in private aided colleges across the state, despite court orders.
The division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Arun Palli observed that the state government authorities were trying to evade court queries in one way or the other and seemed reluctant to fill the posts.
The court had last month granted a month's time to the state to get official approval from the council of ministers for filling the posts. But during the resumed hearing of the case on Tuesday, the state counsel was not able to convince the court regarding the delay in not taking the final decision.
The state government would have to bear a burden of around Rs 150 crore for filling 1,925 posts of lecturers. The court, however, observed that the government authorities were not acting fairly in the case despite the court having made it clear earlier that the financial problem could not be accepted as an excuse for not filling the vacant posts when even the same alibi had been earlier negated by various courts, including the Supreme Court.
The development took place during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation filed by Jagwant Singh of Chandigarh. Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Sameer Sachdeva had sought quashing of the state government's orders of imposing an indefinite ban on filling duly sanctioned vacant posts of teaching and non-teaching staff in aided colleges in the state.
The case would now come up for hearing on February 10.