CS views seriously adverse orders by Courts, Commissions due to ‘inept’ handling of cases

Admn Secys to keep Law Deptt informed on weekly basis

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Aug 6: Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam has taken serious note of adverse orders being passed by the Courts and Commissions against the State authorities due to ‘inept’ handling of cases by the concerned departments and Law Officers and has issued a set of directions for strict compliance by all the Administrative Secretaries, Law Officers, Directors Litigation and Standing Counsels.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that due to improper handling of cases by the concerned departments and Law Officers representing them before the Courts and Commissions adverse orders are frequently passed against the State authorities thereby creating major embarrassment for the top bureaucrats.
“It is due to slackness in timely filing compliance reports or bringing facts before the Courts that even personal appearance of the Chief Secretary and other senior bureaucrats is sought by the Courts and Commissions. Moreover, contempt proceedings are also initiated against the top functionaries of the Government because of inept handling of cases”, sources further said.
They said, “the shocking aspect is that Chief Secretary comes to know about the cases involving key issues only when adverse orders are passed against him or contempt proceedings are initiated against him by the courts”.
“Moreover, the Administrative Secretaries despite facing several adverse orders from the courts including those seeking their personal appearance are not taking serious steps to ensure that they are regularly updated by the concerned Law Officers representing them in the courts”, sources further said.
The Chief Secretary has taken serious note of all these aspects and on his directions the Secretary to Government, Law Department Abdul Majid Bhat has issued a set of instructions to all the Administrative Secretaries, Director Litigation Kashmir/ Jammu and all Law Officers for monitoring of cases.
“The cases pending before the Supreme Court of India, High Court of J&K, National Human Rights Commission, National Green Tribunal, State Human Rights Commission and State Accountability Commission where specific directions are issued to the Chief Secretary or contempt has been filed against him or the case is of specific importance need to be attended to promptly”, read the Circular No. LD/A/ 2018-52 issued by the Law Secretary.
Through the circular all the Administrative Secretaries have been asked that the office of Chief Secretary be kept updated about such cases covering the key issue, the relief sought, the view of the department concerned, the follow-up action taken/proposed to be taken on the next date of hearing deeming it necessary so as to avoid passing of adverse orders against the State authorities.
“It is also impressed upon all the Administrative Secretaries, Law Officers posted in various departments, Senior Additional Advocates General, Additional Advocates General, Deputy Advocates General, Government Advocates and Standing Counsels that the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs be kept informed of all the cases on weekly basis where the Chief Secretary is required to submit a response”, the Law Secretary said in the circular.
The Directors of Litigation have been asked to keep all the departments posted about the important cases and take necessary steps for avoiding adverse orders.
“Had Administrative Secretaries and Law Officers been ensuring strict compliance to directions vis-a-vis adopting proactive approach in handling court cases the Chief Secretary would have not been compelled to convey serious concern to them through Department of Law”, sources said.
It is pertinent to mention here that from time to time instructions were issued by the Government about monitoring of progress in the court cases regularly by the Administrative Secretaries and Heads of the Departments and ensuring proper liaison with the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.
“The latest instructions by the Law Secretary on the directions of the Chief Secretary has clearly established that orders issued from time to time about proactive approach in handling court cases were not being taken seriously”, sources remarked.