THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court has issued a notice of contempt to Chandigarh District Magistrate Ajit Balaji Joshi for non-compliance with an order passed last month by the court in a 99-year-old retired Army officer’s case and warned to consider seeking his personal presence on the next date of hearing.
The order passed by Justice Rajan Gupta on Tuesday has come in a contempt plea filed by Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Pyara Singh Sarang, who has alleged that the District Magistrate has not decided an application filed by him despite a court order asking him to pass a decision on it at most by the end of November. Sarang, who is more than 99 and a half years of age, had filed the application in June this year before the District Magistrate under Section 22 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act, 2007, for seeking eviction of the alleged unauthorised occupants from his house in Sector 27 of the city.
Since the application had remained pending and was “not making any headway”, Sarang had approached the High Court last month, following which Justice Gupta had ordered, “After hearing learned counsel for the parties and taking into consideration the facts and circumstances much less the age of the complaint/petitioner, the present petition is hereby disposed of with a direction to the respondent, who is allegedly seized of the application made by the petitioner to try and decide the same on the date already fixed (November 9) before him or by the end of this month”.
Sarang’s counsel Jatinder Nagpal told Chandigarh Newsline that the case primarily surrounds a dispute between Sarang and his daughter-in-laws. Saranag, who is the “owner of the house” and is currently residing in a rented accommodation, had approached the District Magistrate for their eviction under the law but his plea was not being decided since June this year. Nagpal said Sarang’s both the sons have already passed away.
“The respondent has wilfully disobeyed and flouted the order passed by the Hon’ble High Court and further have no respect for the order passed by this Hon’ble Court and no action has been taken by the respondent till date despite several personal visits, reminder and representations by the petitioner in this regard,” reads the contempt plea, adding that the officer has “intentionally and deliberately” failed to comply with the High Court direction.
“Notice to show cause as to why further proceedings against the respondent be not undertaken in view of the provisions of Contempt of Courts Act for 9.1.2018. This court shall also consider on the next date of hearing whether presence of the respondent is required to assist the court,” Justice Gupta said in Tuesday’s order after being informed that the officer has “disobeyed” the order passed by the bench on November 6.