Taking a serious view of the non-compliance of its directions issued in a contempt case, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday put a stay on all appointments to be made by the Punjab government till it took a decision on appointment of Ranjit Sagar Dam oustees whose land was acquired for construction of the dam in 1979.
The high court also summoned the financial commissioner concerned to the court on August 5 and directed the chief secretary to file a personal affidavit in the case.
The directions came on a bunch of around 25 petitions filed for revival of the contempt of court case by oustees of Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir.
For the construction of the dam for storage of water and hydropower generation on the Ravi near Thein village in Jammu and Kashmir thousands of acres of land in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh was acquired.
Appearing for the petitioners, advocate Rahul Dev Singh informed the court that the high court had earlier granted a month's time to the Punjab government to take a decision on the appointment of oustees in government jobs but the said time had expired long ago and the oustees were still waiting for appointment letters.
The court said the state government authorities were trying to circumvent the orders of the court and that too in a contempt of court case. The court also directed the chief engineer of the Ranjit Sagar Dam and other officials present in the court on Wednesday to remain present on the next hearing.
Jobs to be provided as per 1979 agreement
The oustees had moved the court against the Punjab government for not providing them government jobs as per the agreement signed between the Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir governments on January 20, 1979. The then chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab, Sheikh Abdullah and Parkash Singh Badal, respectively, had signed the agreement. As per the agreement, families and persons whose land, houses and shops were to be acquired for the dam were to be compensated and rehabilitated.
The high court had earlier directed the state government to provide employment to one member each of the eligible oustees' families in Class-IV posts.