In less than a month, second Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Haryana government was held guilty of contempt by the Punjab and Haryana high court, on Thursday.
A single judge bench of justice Rajesh Bindal held director, secondary education, ML Kaushik, guilty of contempt of court in a matter related to appointment of some school teachers. The Supreme Court, too, had issued directions in favour of the teachers concerned. The case was under litigation since 2010.
On March 30, the same bench had held officials Vijai Vardhan, an additional chief secretary, and former Haryana Public Service Commission secretary Bhupinder Singh guilty of contempt of court in matter of regular recruitment of assistant professors in state colleges.
On Thursday, the court was told that Kaushik was in West Bengal on assembly election duty and a junior official had been deputed in his place. Dissatisfied over the handling of the case, justice Bindal has now summoned Kaushik for May 9, when the quantum of punishment will be pronounced.
The petitioner teachers had argued in the contempt petition filed in 2015 that the Supreme Court in April 2015 had directed for giving appointment to the petitioners within three months, but the order was not complied with. After filing of the petition, one of the teachers was issued appointment letter on March 18, 2016, and when she went to join duty at Arya Senior Secondary School, Narwana, she was informed that there was no post available for her.
Another petitioner was issued a joining letter of Anglo Sanskrit Secondary School, Pundri, which didn’t exist.
“The aforesaid facts (some facts recorded in March 30 order) established that leaving the order passed by this court, even the orders passed by the Supreme Court, are taken casually by the officers. It is very rare that the orders of the courts are complied with within the time granted. Majority of the orders are complied with only after the contempt petitions are filed and that too after two-three dates of hearings or when the officer concerned is summoned to appear in person,” justice Bindal observed in his March 30 order, summoning Kaushik for Thursday.
But Kaushik failed to appear which prompted the court to hold him guilty of contempt of court.