The Delhi High Court has issued notice to central government officials on a contempt petition for allegedly not complying with its order directing the appointment of certain successful candidates to the post of Joint Secretary and Legal Advisor in the Ministry of Law and Justice within six weeks.
Justice Najmi Waziri said that due compliance of the order passed by a division bench of the court in July 2021 had to be ensured by the authorities and sought compliance affidavit/reply from officials in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and Ministry of Law & Justice as well as Union Public Service Commission in four weeks.
The contempt petition was filed by one Ashutosh Mishra who was one of the five successful candidates directed to be appointed to the post of Joint Secretary and Legal Advisor in the Ministry of Law and Justice by the division bench order.
The petitioner stood appointed as the Joint Secretary and Legal Advisor in the Ministry of Law and Justice. Due compliance, in this regard, had to be ensured by the respondent. The needful had to be done not later than six weeks upon the receipt of the copy of the said order.
There is the default in compliance. Issue notice, the court said in a recent order.
The court was told that being fully eligible, the petitioner had applied to the post pursuant to an advertisement issued by Union Public Service Commission in 2018, and in February 2020, he was informed that his name had been recommended to the Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law and Justice, New Delhi for appointment to the post of Joint Secretary and Legal Adviser in Grade-l of Indian Legal Service.
The petitioner, along with other successful candidates, had moved the high court after no action was taken by the Ministry of Law and Justice for their appointment pursuant to the recommendation. In the contempt petition, the petitioner has alleged that the respondent authorities were wilfully disobeying a binding order on appointment which was passed by the high court. It is stated that such wilful disobedience was adversely affecting the administration of justice and lowering the dignity of this Hon'ble Court for which the Respondents /Contemnors herein are liable for gross contempt of Court.
The petitioner has further submitted that he was suffering an irreparable loss in terms of higher pay and further career progression which has a permanent adverse effect. The matter would be heard next on May 24..