The Gujarat High Court Thursday dropped contempt proceedings against the education department, including the principal secretary, over non-compliance of its earlier order to “fix the pay-grade of a petitioner”.
A division bench dropped the proceedings after it was submitted that the state government has time till September to comply with the court’s orders.
The case pertains to the petition moved by Nidatt Barot, principal at the Institute of Language Teaching in Rajkot, who had moved before the HC with a contempt petition alleging wilful disobedience of a single bench order of the HC in January that had directed the education department to “fix the pay grade of the petitioner to Rs 10,000”, instead of Rs 9,000.
The order came in response to an earlier plea filed by Barot after his pay was reduced from Rs 10,000 to Rs 9,000 based on a pay scale revision by the UGC in 2017 as per the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission.
The court, in the order, noted that “the respondent authorities” reduced the pay even while maintaining the petitioner at the appointed level. Directing the authorities to maintain the former pay grade, the court gave a month’s time to comply with its order along with payment of arrears.
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Subsequently, Barot filed a contempt petition in April against SJ Haider, principal secretary at the education department, and M Nagarajan, commissioner of higher education.
However, the division bench Thursday disposed of the petition noting that the order has granted time till September 30. The bench added that the petitioner could file a fresh contempt petition if the order is not complied with by the said period.