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Law disapproves belated compliance: CAT

Warns of stern action against Director Health Services Kashmir
12:01 AM Apr 23, 2024 IST | D A RASHID

Srinagar, Apr 22:  The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in Srinagar Monday 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.’

A bench of M S Latif, Member (J), 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.


In its earlier order for not implementing its directions to file a response to the petition titled Dr Sheikh Farooq Nazir versus Health and Medical Education Department, the tribunal had imposed a fine of Rs 1 on the director with the observation that “heavy costs could have been imposed but the purpose of imposing a fine of Rs 1 was only to create a sense of responsibility in the Head of the Department which in this case, it said, was the Director Health Services Kashmir.

“Sufferings of the litigants are to be taken on priority,” the tribunal had said.


The tribunal relied upon a Supreme Court judgment ‘Subrata Roy Sahara versus Union of India and others’ 2014 Volume 8 SCC wherein the apex court noted, “In our system of democratic governance there is no escape from compliance of the orders of the court.”

While the tribunal underscored that no 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 meaningless, it said: “It is non-compliance of the orders which compel the litigants and petitioners to invoke the contempt jurisdiction of the courts.”

The tribunal observed that contempt jurisdiction was a special jurisdiction to be exercised sparingly and non-compliance with the orders tended to shake 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 (is) tantamount 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 the dispensation of justice and administration of justice,” the tribunal said.

It observed that the right of relief for a litigant consists of immediate and un-delayed 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 will 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 tribunal said.

It held that the Director of Health Services Kashmir in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case was saddled with Rs 1 as costs to be paid from his pocket just to create a sense of responsibility.

“But it is with great anguish and dismay that 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,” the tribunal said.

Following the submission by Deputy Advocate General Bikram Deep Singh, the tribunal granted two weeks to the Director of Health Services Kashmir to comply with the order dated February 23, 2024, and listed the case for May 10.