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Tripura HC slams administration, slaps fine of Rs 50,000 on state home secretary

"We feel the administration has treated the orders and directives of the Court with disdain"

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Agartala: The high court of Tripura expressed its displeasure over the functioning of the state administration and slam the top officials of the home department for seemingly willful non-compliance of the court order even to the subject of offering a job to a helpless family under a die-in-harness scheme while imposing the cost of Rs 50,000/- as compensation of litigation to the petitioner, as he was wrongly and needlessly dragged into by the administration.
The division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice Arindam Lodh observed, “We feel the administration has treated the orders and directives of the Court with disdain. If the judgments and directions that the Court passes are not implemented in its true letter and spirit, it would become mockery”.
Time and again we come across instances of the Government machinery not complying with the Court’s orders in time. This unfortunate situation arises because there is no internal audit system to ascertain in how many cases the Government officers are raising frivolous issues, filing needless petitions or appeals, disregard Court’s orders and directions and invite contempt proceedings, the order read.
According to report, a police constable Nantu Kumar Das whose wife had predeceased him had died on June 6 2001, leaving his three married daughters and minor son Shubham Das. As per the norm, Shubham could not apply for a die-in-harness job within the year of father’s death, because of his status as minor.
After attaining adulthood Shubham had applied for a job in 2012 but his plea was rejected on the ground that the application had not been made within the year of his father’s death. Then, he filed a case in the high court but lost it in the single bench and then moved the division bench that ruled in favour of him in 2018. But the state government defied the order and issued a counter-memorandum which amounted to contempt of court and, to worsen matters, the government started dithering over the issue and compounded the offense of contempt thrice.
While disposing of the petition, the court directed the government the order of appointment of the petitioner shall be effective January 31, 2019, on the day when Division Bench in the Writ Appeal judgment had came into effect and pay the compensation to the petitioner within July 30 and submit all such documents before the bench for verification of compliance on August 2 next.
The order stated that this luxury the respondents can afford because the litigation was not defended at their cost but at public money. Every day of delay does not harm the respondents but tests the patience of the litigant and sometimes, comes the stage where his energy and resources run dry.
Litigation is dragged endlessly till out of sheer exhaustion and despair he stops pursuing his cause. In a case, where an unemployed youth, who lost his father at the age of 7 is looking for Government employment, he has been forced to file 5 proceedings before the High Court all at his cost, it added.
“The respondents perhaps cannot understand and surely do not share his agony because they have a fixed pay day unlike the petitioner and all their actions, deeds and misdeeds are defended at the public cost. Perhaps sitting in their air-condition chambers; they have lost their capacity to understand what hunger is. The respondents merely represent the executive as a class and these observations therefore are meant for the administration in general and not against these two respondents personally,” the court observed.
The order further laid down that the petitioner is an individual of no eminence, for the executive class, he is of no significance. He does not represent a vote bank. For the political class he is of no special value. That still does not mean that the law will not help him if the law is on his side and that is where the role of the Court becomes paramount.

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