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Defiance: 20 opportunities, no response | CAT orders to withhold half salary of CE R&B

12:45 AM Jun 01, 2024 IST | GK LEGAL CORRESPONDENT
defiance  20 opportunities  no response   cat orders to withhold half salary of ce r b
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Srinagar, May 31: The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in Srinagar Friday ordered the withholding of half of the salary of the Chief Engineer Public Works (Roads and Buildings) Department, Kashmir, till a reply is filed to a plea seeking release of retiral benefits of an employee who superannuated on April 30, 2000.

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“Keeping in view the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case and to uphold the rule of law, 50 percent of the salary of the Chief Engineer PWD (R&B), Kashmir is ordered to be attached till the reply is filed in the matter for which at the request of Waseem Gul, GA, a mercy chance of 10 days is granted,” the bench of M S Latif Member (J) said.

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The tribunal directed the treasury officer concerned to comply with the order of keeping 50 percent of the salary of the Chief Engineer PWD attached as 50 percent of the salary, it said, belongs to the family of the official.

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Listing the matter before the division bench of the court on July 29, the tribunal ordered that a copy of the order it passed be forwarded to the treasury officer concerned for compliance.

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Muhammad Misbah Anwar Buch had initially filed the Writ Petition in 2011 before the High Court which was transferred to the CAT vide order dated December 16, 2020.

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In his plea, Buch is seeking the court’s intervention for quashing an order of PWD dated July 25, 2011, besides a direction for the release of his retiral benefits.

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As the matter came up for hearing, the court expressed its dismay over the delay in filing a response to the petition by the authorities.

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It noted that in the past 12 years, the three respondents (authorities) never bothered to file their response, saying the court otherwise was not powerless to proceed with the matter in the absence of the reply for more than 20 opportunities had been granted to them.

While the tribunal expressed its anguish and displeasure on the conduct of the respondents, it said the same flaunts how casually the court orders were dealt with, particularly when the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir in the year 2011 itself kept the order impugned in abeyance.

“Ultimately, the cases are to be decided on merits and in consonance with law but for the lethargy and insensitive attitude shown by the respondents, this instant case is a glaring example where the ordinary and casual attitude of the respondents would compel this court to proceed against them in accordance with the law by saddling the respondents with heavy costs,” the court said.

The bench said that this court could have even ordered to seek the personal presence of the respondents’ Head of the Department to explain the position as to why despite opportunities, a reply had not been filed as of date.

“But this court has earlier observed that senior officers are more required in public duties to mitigate the sufferings of people rather than to be present in court,” it said.

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