The Acting Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Justice Rajesh Bindal has compared the government officers of the Union Territory with “Kumbhakarna” and said that they wake up from the deep slumber only after being “repeatedly scolded” and pulled up.
Justice Bindal also said that huge loss is caused to the UT exchequer due to the “callous and lackadaisical attitude of the government officials”.
Justice Rajesh Bindal made these observations while dismissing a plea filed by National India Construction Company challenging rejection of its bid submitted in response to a tender for building a road under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.
The Acting Chief Justice of J&K HC observed that the people of the union terriroty are deprived of better infrastructure facilities due to the apathy of government officials.
“It is a case in which the project for creation of infrastructure in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir had been put on hold, on account of interim stay granted by this court on 17.04.2018. As usual, the department was sleeping over the matter. They did not even take care to file objections immediately after receipt of notice. Apparently sleeping over a matter may be more suitable for the reasons best known to them but the result remains that the people of Jammu and Kashmir remain deprived of better infrastructure facilities,” the 25-page HC order read.
In the order, while coming down heavily on the government officials, Justice Rajesh Bindal also expressed his concern and dismay over the functioning of the government offices in Jammu and Kashmir.
“In the case in hand and what is seen in other cases filed against the government in this court, replies/objections are not filed in some cases even for a decade. It is not limited to main petitions but even in contempt petitions, compliance report is not filed for long time. This not only results in denying fruits of litigation to the succeeding party but even lowers public trust in the judicial institution. Hon’ble Supreme Court had compared a litigant approaching the court after huge delay with Kumbhakarna,” Justice Rajesh Bindal said in his order.
The order also quoted an excerpt from the Ramayana to explain how Kumbhakarana used to be woken up.
“I think if considered in that light, for filing of replies/objections in the cases pending in this court, the government officials are no better. As has been mentioned in Ramayana, Demon King Rawana had to use lot of noise and different means to wake up Kumbhakarana, when his Kingdom was in trouble. Here also the government officials are to be woken up from slumber by using different means,” Justice Rajesh Bindal said.
The Court also issued directions to J&K Chief Secretary to refer some road construction cases for test audit to the Central Road Research Institute, New Delhi. The Court order said that it would bring transparency in the system and create better infrastructure.
Justice Rajesh Bindal was appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of the common High Court of J&K and Ladakh on Tuesday upon the retirement of Chief Justice Gita Mittal.
Meanwhile, both the BJP and the Congress have said that the J&K administration must take the High Court’s observations seriously and bring improvement in its functioning.
“The administrative lethargy in J&K has to be rectified and the impression that the administration is not performing its duties with the concern and speed with which it is expected as noted in the High Court judgement should be dispelled,” Sunil Sethi, senior Advocate and chief spokesperson of J&K BJP told India Today.
“The High Court’s order is a serious indictment of the bureaucracy in J&K. This shows inefficient and inept functioning of the J&K administration which is working under the Centre. As High Court has made strong observations, corrective steps must be taken by the government,” Advocate Ravinder Sharma, chief Spokesperson of J&K Congress told India Today.
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