DB expresses displeasure over Govt’s non-serious approach in handling cases

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PIL regarding decongesting/widening of Amphalla-Janipur road

STATE TIMES NEWS

JAMMU: In a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Citizen’s Forum through its President R K Chadha regarding decongesting/widening of Amphalla-Janipur road stretch, Janipur-High Court road stretch and fly-over project from Shakuntla-Janipur proposed in 2008, a Division Bench of J&K High Court comprising Chief Justice (A) Rajesh Bindal and Justice Sanjay Dhar expressed displeasure over non-serious approach of administration in handling cases.
When PIL came-up for hearing, Division Bench after hearing Adv Aditya Sharma for PIL observed that the matter pertains to construction of fly-over from Vikram Chowk to Janipur, Jammu and on October 12, 2020, the Court passed the order that as back as March 19, 2019, it had directed that a status report shall be filed within two weeks failing which costs of Rs 20,000 would be imposed. The DB further observed that time to file status report was sought on 16th July, 20th August, 20th September, 16th October, 29th November, 2019 and 21st August, 2020 but neither the status report nor the plan in question has been filed till date. In view thereof, costs of Rs 20,000 are imposed which will be recovered from the Officer who is responsible for all these delays. Costs shall be deposited to the Advocate’s Welfare Fund within two weeks. The status report shall accompany proof of deposit of costs. It was further made clear that costs imposed will not be waived under any circumstances.
DB observed that though status report filed by the respondents is on record, however, there is nothing to suggest that costs have been deposited and the case was taken up twice. However, none has appeared for the respondents. This is conduct of the respondents despite strong observations made by this Court on June 4, 2019 and October 12, 2020 in the present petition and also in OWP No. 672/2018 titled as National India Construction Company vs. State of J&K and others decided on December 9, 2020.
DB further observed that it only shows the sad state of affairs possibly for the reason that none is held responsible for sleeping over matters and not even assisting the Court in important matters. As a result of which, the processes are delayed. People accuse the Courts only for delaying process of justice but no one knows that many times delays are caused on account of lack of assistance by the Government or delay in filing pleadings and there is nothing on record to suggest as to whether costs imposed by the Court have been recovered from the officer or not. DB directed that a copy of the order be sent to the Chief Secretary, Government of Union Territory of J&K, for taking appropriate action in the matter against guilty officers so that there is some change in mindset and they start justifying fat salaries received by them from State exchequer, which is funded by taxpayers’ money.

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