‘No respect for court’: SC paves way for arrest of Uttar Pradesh finance secy, addl chief secy

Justice NV Ramana

New Delhi, Nov 13 : The Supreme Court on Saturday junked an appeal of the Uttar Pradesh government, which could lead to the arrest of the state’s finance secretary and additional chief secretary (revenue).

A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana told the counsel for the Uttar Pradesh government, “The high court should have ordered arrest by now.”

The bench also comprising justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said that severe punishment is required in the matter, as the officials were depriving an employee of his arrears.

The bench added, “You did nothing to abide by the orders… you have no respect for the court. This additional chief secretary appears to be very arrogant.”

The Allahabad High Court had issued bailable orders against the officials for delayed and partial compliance of its orders. The high court had passed several orders for the regularisation of the service and also clearance of past salary arrears of the fourth-grade employee.

Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, said that the service of the petitioner, Bhuneshwar Prasad Tiwari, as ‘collection amin’ has been regularised. She added that juniors, who were given regular employment ahead of him, have been removed and only arrears of the salary are due. Bhati urged the top court to take a lenient view in the matter.

To which, the bench said, “Look at this… despite the court order, this additional chief secretary says that I will not grant the age relaxation. You tell all this (the defence argument for the officials) to the high court after you are arrested and produced.”

The bench, in its order, said: “Having heard the learned Additional Solicitor General appearing on behalf of the petitioner — the state of Uttar Pradesh — and after carefully perusing the materials placed on record, we see no reason to interfere with the impugned interim order passed by the high court. The special leave petition is, accordingly, dismissed. As a sequel to the above, pending interlocutory applications also stand disposed of.”

The top court was hearing a matter connected to the regularisation of service and payment of arrears to a ‘collection amin’ in Allahabad. On November 1, the high court had noted that the officials were not treating the court orders seriously, as they declined to grant arrears of salary to a person who was earlier denied the rightful claim of regularisation of service.

The high court said that it is a fit case to issue bailable warrant against Uttar Pradesh additional chief secretary (revenue) and Sanjay Kumar, the then district magistrate currently posted as secretary (finance). The high court sought their appearance before it on November 15, and issued bailable warrants.

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