High Court impose Rs 5000 as costs on UT bureaucrat for non-compliance of order

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Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday imposed Rs 5000 as personal costs on Commissioner Secretary, Animal Husbandry Department, underlining that the “mindset of non-compliance of the orders passed by the Court need to be changed.”

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a Division Bench of Chief Justice (Acting) Rajesh Bindal and Justice Sanjay Dhar observed that that November 19, the Court had directed the Commissioner/Secretary, Animal and Sheep Husbandry Department to appear in person through video conference but he did not comply with the orders.

Senior AAG S. S. Nanda submitted that a status report has been filed mentioning that Animal Husbandry Department has nothing to do with the construction of slaughter house. .

“There is no status report on record in the soft copy of the paper book. No application seeking exemption from personal appearance has been filed,” the court said, adding, “Though the status report is not on record in the soft copy of the paper book, however, the same was produced in the Court separately from the Registry of this Court. There is no separate application filed by the Commissioner/Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Department seeking exemption from his personal appearance.”

 This, the court said, only shows “arrogance” on the part of the officer concerned.

“Neither he has filed any affidavit with the status report under signatures, when he had been called to appear in person nor any exemption application for personal appearance has been filed by him,” the court said underling that when he was directed to appear in person, either he should have appeared or filed his own affidavit mentioning details along with prayer for exemption from appearance.

“The mind set of non-compliance of the orders passed by the Court need to be changed. For his non-appearance, the Commissioner/Secretary, Animal Husbandry Department, Jammu is burdened with personal cost of Rs 5,000,” the court said and asked him to deposit the same with the court’s Registry within four weeks.

Meanwhile Ashish Gupta, Joint Commissioner Jammu Municipal Corporation informed the court that the work on slaughter house construction shall be allotted to the successful bidder within two weeks. As per the conditions in the DPR, Gupta said the project is to be completed within 12 months. In so far as the construction of the slaughter house at Srinagar was concerned, the court observed that as per statement made before it on 26 February this year, the construction was in progress and was likely to be completed within next 7-8 months. S. Nanda, the Sr. AAG, submitted that the work was in progress, however, because of COVID-19, the same was delayed. “Let the present status of the construction of the slaughter house at Srinagar be apprised to the Court on the next date of hearing and the time required for completion thereof,” the court added