Court rap an unending saga for state

The state government,its police machinery as well as other departments seem to be at the receiving end of the Bombay High Court’s ire in recent months...

Written by Mohan Kumar | Mumbai | Published:February 22, 2009 2:08 am

This month alone,the court has pulled up the government and police eight times,starting with the illegal appointment of DGP AN Roy

The state government,its police machinery as well as other departments seem to be at the receiving end of the Bombay High Court’s ire in recent months,for inaction and non-implementation of court orders. The judges have,on numerous occasions,come down hard on the approach of the government in implementing even its statutory duties.

This month alone,the court has pulled up the government and police eight times,starting with the illegal appointment of DGP AN Roy. “The decision of the then deputy chief minister in charge of Home reflects non-application of mind and the only reason stated in the note has no nexus to the object sought to be achieved,” the court had observed then.

Worli police had faced the court’s ire for not protecting the victim in the Abhishek Kasliwal rape case even after it had specifically ordered them to protect her. “The prosecutrix is not being traced. I would like to know why,” the court had said.

On February 12,the court had summoned the general managers of both Western and Central Railways for not providing even the basic facilities for rail accident victims. It commented that the case has been pending for so long and so far the railways have not even provided a well-equipped ambulance. “You are not even concerned about a person who is dying,” the court said.

The same day,the court had imposed fines on five government officials in three different cases. A fine of Rs 1,000 was imposed on Secretary,Social Welfare,and the Commissioner (Disability) for non-compliance of its earlier orders regarding giving jobs to disabled persons. Another fine of Rs 3,000 each was imposed on Secretary,Urban Development Department,and Chief Executive Officer of Lonavala Municipal Council who were supposed to supervise a demolition drive. A fine of Rs 1,500 was imposed on the Principal Secretary,Medical Education and Drugs Department,for failing to comply with its directives for issuing a circular to officers concerned for implementing regulations governing cigarette packaging,distribution and sales.

Apart from these,the death of five children in the government-run ashram schools in Dahanu,Thane,the Sion Hospital baby case,the malnutrition deaths,the handling of bandhs,improper investigation into an inter-state racket,prisoners languishing in prisons even after their jail term and Sara-Sahara case also saw the court pulling up either the government or the police.

“The problem lies in the internal machinery of state which is not functioning as it should. Those who are responsible for answering are the officers at the middle executive level. But when the court pulls up the top brass like the principal secretaries or the chief secretary who is not responsible for implementing the orders,such misunderstandings arise. So the proper way is to call the person responsible or to direct the top official to send the officer responsible to the court,” said former acting Chief Justice of Bombay High Court V G Palshikar.

“The tendency of the High Court to call up the chief secretary and other top officials is not healthy,” he said,citing the case of Principal Secretary (Law and Judiciary) who was fined Rs 10,000 by the court recently.

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