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Shetty Pay Commission: DB directs to comply with direction failing which Finance Secy, Law Secy appear in person

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STATE TIMES NEWS

JAMMU: In a petition is filed by the employees borne on the cadre of Subordinate Courts through JEWA State seeking implementation of Shetty Commission Report so far as recommendations pertaining to the Ministerial staff working in the Subordinate Courts in the State of Jammu and Kashmir are concerned, which was agreed to by the State Government and, to pay the arrears which are admissible to the Ministerial Staff working in the Subordinate Courts by implementing the Shetty Commission report from April 1, 2003.
A Division Bench of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court Comprising Atul Sreedharan and Justice Rajesh Sekhri took serious note and observed that the respondents are already in gross contempt of the order of the learned Division Bench and thereafter the order passed by this Court in contempt proceedings dated July 19, 2023. Under the circumstances, the contempt petitioners have two options that to comply with the orders passed by this Court in letter and spirit before the next date of hearing i.e. April 25, 2024. On that date, the compliance of order dated July 19, 2023 has to be placed before this Court and its absence, the Finance Secretary and the Law Secretary shall remain present in person in this Court at 11.A.M. Their failure to do so will compel this Court to resort to coercive measures commencing with the issuance of bailable warrants against them.
DB observed that this is a contempt petition which is pending since the year 2017. During this time, the case has been listed before this Court not less than 39 times. The case has been pending for the compliance of the order passed by the learned Single Judge on December 8, 2016. By the said order, the writ petition that was filed by the contempt petitioners, who are the ministerial staff working with the District Judiciary, were given the benefit of the Shetty Pay Commission with effect from April 1, 2003 which was agreed to be implemented by the Chief Minister of the state which was recorded in the minutes dated April 2, 2008. Eight years have passed since the date of that order and the contempt petitioners in this petition have yet to be given the benefit of one of the recommendations which is retrospective in effect from April 1, 2003. During the pendency of this contempt petition, the matter came up before the co-ordinate Bench which by elaborate order on July 19, 2023, rejected the objections of the respondents that the retrospective effect has not been given and held in paragraph 12- “The plea of respondent No.1 that the posts cannot be created retrospectively is untenable in law and cannot be accepted. The creation of posts from retrospective date to comply with judgment of competent Court of jurisdiction is not unknown to service jurisprudence.”
DB further observed that thereafter, this Court has directed the High Court as well as the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs to file respective action taken reports. Those action taken reports were filed. However, the respondents filed an application for modification of order dated July 19, 2023 which was dismissed by this Court vide order dated March 28, 2024. It is also relevant to mention here that the co-ordinate Bench while dismissing the application for modification also observed that the modification sought for was totally uncalled for.
DB is of the opinion that the respondents are already in gross contempt of the order of the Division Bench and thereafter the order passed by this Court in contempt proceedings dated July 19, 2023. Under the circumstances, the contempt petitioners have two options that to comply with the orders passed by this Court in letter and spirit before the next date of hearing i.e. April 25, 2024. On that date, the compliance of order dated July 19, 2023 has to be placed before this Court and its absence, the Finance Secretary and the Law Secretary shall remain present in person in this Court at 11.A.M. Their failure to do so will compel this Court to resort to coercive measures commencing with the issuance of bailable warrants against them, DB ordered.

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