CAT warns stern action against DHK for not complying orders


JAMMU, Apr 22: The Single Bench Central Administrative Tribunal Judicial Member MS Latif warned of stern action against Director Health Services Kashmir for his insensitive approach to comply with its orders in a service matter, observing that 'Justice delayed is justice denied and belated compliance is not countenanced by law.'
CAT after hearing Adv Paravizz Lone, expressed dismay while granting two weeks to the director to comply with its order dated February 23, 2024, subject to the condition that the Token Fine of Rs 1 will be deposited by the director in person from his pocket or be paid through his authorised representative.
CAT said that On 23-02-2024, it was observed that despite pre-emptive order dated 23-02-2024, respondents have not filed their response. It was ordered that the case will be heard on its merits. However, Mr. Bikram Deep Singh submitted that he could not file his reply and the Court with all dismay observes that unnecessary delay by the respondents in filing replies/counter timely prolongs the disposal of the case and in view of the submissions of Mr. Bikram Deep Singh, he was granted one mercy chance to file his detailed reply subject to payment of costs of Re. 1/- which were to be deposited by Director Health Services Kashmir from his own pockets within one week before the Registry of this Court and the same on deposit was ordered to be deposited in CAT Srinagar, Library Fund.
CAT further observed that heavy costs could have been imposed but the purpose of imposing fine of Re. 1/- was only to create a sense of responsibility in the head of the department which in this case is Director, Health Services Kashmir that the sufferings of the litigants are to be taken on priority.
CAT further observed that mo order of the Court should lose its efficacy because of its non-compliance or compliance at such a belated stage which would render the compliance as meaningless. It is non-compliance of the orders which compel the litigants/petitioners to invoke the contempt jurisdiction of the Courts.
CAT is of conscious that Contempt Jurisdiction is a special jurisdiction to be exercised sparingly and non-compliance of the orders have the tendency of shaking the confidence of the public in the administration of justice.
Long inaction and supine apathy towards compliance of the Court orders and directions in a given case, tentamount to obstruct the course of justice in as much as, the compliance of the Court's orders has to be viewed as an integral part of dispensation of justice and administration of justice.
CAT further observed that the right of relief for a litigant consists in immediate and undelayed fructification of the orders of the Court. The orders of the Courts so disregarded and neglected for their compliance bring out a situation where the public at large would view that the system has failed. It would be considered that the Courts have been losing their authority and their orders do not have any effect on the authorities of the Government. The Director Health Services, Kashmir was in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case was saddled with Re.1/- as costs to be paid from his own pocket just to create a sense of responsibility but it is with great anguish and dismay this Court is compelled to observe that the casual, lethargic and insensitive approach on the part of the Director, Health Services Kashmir towards the compliance of the orders and directions cannot be tolerated though the stern action deserves to be taken, as justice delayed is justice denied and belated compliance is not countenanced by law.
Mr. Bikram Deep Singh, DAG candidly concedes that the order dated 23-02-2024 ought to have been complied with. He further submits that he be granted two weeks' time to comply with the order dated 23-02-2024. Prayer is allowed subject to condition that the Token Fine i.e. Re.1/- to be deposited by Director Health Services, Kashmir in person from his own pocket or to be paid through his authorised representative.

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