Haryana chief secy, DS Dhesi, cautions babus against violating HC orders wilfully
Haryana bureaucrats “violate” the high court directions in contempt petitions “with impunity”, according to a sharply-worded letter dispatched by chief secretary DS Dhesi to administrative secretaries.india Updated: Apr 11, 2017 10:11 IST
Haryana bureaucrats “violate” the high court directions in contempt petitions “with impunity”, according to a sharply-worded letter dispatched by chief secretary DS Dhesi to administrative secretaries.
“It is now being repeatedly pointed out by the judges hearing contempt petitions that period fixed in the (Punjab and Haryana) high court orders for compliance of the court directions is rarely being adhered to and rather violated with impunity,” Dhesi, the state’s top bureaucrat, has pointed out in his April 7 two-page demi-official letter.
This is not for the first time that the chief secretary (CS) has cautioned the officers. In June 2015, too, the CS had directed all administrative secretaries — of all departments, boards and corporations — to ensure that replies/written statements are filed in all writ petitions three days prior and in contempt petitions seven working days prior to the date fixed for hearing.
The officers were told that in case instructions were not complied with, the official(s) concerned will be liable for the costs (fine) imposed by the court, besides the departmental proceedings. However, the CS letter brings to the fore that despite earlier instructions the officers are not taking necessary steps.
The HC has pointed out that neither the orders are complied with within the time prescribed nor any extension in time is sought from the courts giving any justified reasons for extension. Also, the replies are not filed a week before the date of hearing.
“It was also pointed out that when contempt petitions are filed and notices are issued by the courts even then after receipt of contempt notice, no action is taken promptly and process for compliance of court order is started a week before the date of hearing fixed in the contempt petition,” said Dhesi.
The courts have also conveyed that if citizens are forced to file the contempt petitions — for non-compliance of the orders — then the courts have to presume that non-compliance is wilful and that the official concerned is guilty of contempt even if orders are complied with after expiry of period prescribed or after filing of the contempt petitions. The officers failing to stick to the time schedule fixed by the courts for compliance of orders forces the court to summon higher officers for personal appearance, the letter says.
The CS has stated that in case the court order isn’t complied with within the time prescribed due to any valid reason, the department/official can seek extension of time so that citizens are not forced to file contempt petitions. Requesting the officers to adhere to the time schedule fixed by the court for compliance of directions and that replies must be filed a week before the date of hearing, the CS reiterated: “…failing which the officers concerned will be personally liable for non-compliance of court orders and the costs if any imposed.”