SC issues contempt notice to top bureaucrats of Bihar including former chief secretary | India News


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has prima facie held former Bihar chief secretary Tripurari Sharan and other serving officials, including the principal secretary of finance department, as guilty for contempt of court and asked them to personally appear before it to explain why they should not be punished for not complying with its order to grant pensionary and retiral benefits to some of the state government employees.
A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and B R Gavi said that non-compliance of apex court’s directions “is wilful and deliberate and amounts to contempt of this Court”. The case pertains to claims of state government employee who were asked to join the treasury department from various corporations in the aftermath of fodder scam but their tenure at Corporations were not considered by state for pensionary and retiral benefits.
The aggrieved employee thereafter approached the apex court through their lawyer Somesh Chandra Jha and the court passed the order in their favour. The directions were issued in March 2020 and in February 2021, but the state allegedly failed to comply with the order in the last two years, compelling the employees to file contempt petitions against the top bureaucrats of the state government, including the then chief secretary Tripurari Sharan.
Advocate Somesh Chandra Jha contended that conduct of concerned officials is contemptuous and prayed for appropriate punishment for them for flouting the orders passed by the court.
“It would be pertinent to point out that most of the applicants being senior citizens are in dire need of medical attention and due to the non-payment of pension they are not able to get themselves treated. The State Government has failed in its role of a model employer and has only harassed the applicants for which they should be saddled with heavy costs and further may kindly be directed to pay appropriate rate of interest on delayed payments,” he contended.
Agreeing with his plea, the court agreed to initiate contempt proceedings against them. “In that view of the matter, we, prima facie, find that the non­compliance of the directions issued by this Court dated March 4, 2020 and February 15, 2021, is wilful and deliberate and amounts to contempt of this Court. . We therefore direct the respondent­ contemnors to remain present before this Court on February 22 and show cause as to why they should not be held guilty for having committed contempt of this Court and be punished in accordance with law,” the bench said.
Hinting that the court may take a lenient view if its directions are complied with, the bench said, “Needless to state that compliance of the directions, in the meantime, will have a bearing on the punishment that may be inflicted upon the respondent – contemnors”.

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