Govt Circular On Expiry Of Stays Undermines Dignity Of Courts: HC

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday said the circular issued by Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs regarding automatic expiry of stay orders within six months is “smack of undermining the dignity of the Court in the eyes of the general public.”

Hearing a petition filed by some aggrieved persons working in higher education department, a bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey also stayed the operation of the circular of the law department as well as a communication issued by Director Colleges, Higher Education Department, on December 1 as regards the petitioners.

“Having heard Jahangir Iqbal Ganai, the Senior Counsel representing the petitioners, and upon a conjoint reading of the circular dated 25th of November, 2020 issued by the Secretary to Government, Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs; communication dated 1st of December, 2020, issued by Director Colleges, Higher Education Department; and the directions passed by the Apex Court of the country, the Court is, prima facie, satisfied that both the Law Secretary as well as the Director Colleges have not only overreached their authority, but their actions, besides being contemptuous in nature, also smack of undermining the dignity of the Court in the eyes of general public,” the court said as per news agency GNS, adding, “This is so because the Hon’ble Supreme Court, seemingly, has laid down guidelines with regard to pending cases where stay against proceedings of a civil or criminal trial is operating and not relating to all stay orders, passed in exercise of original jurisdiction under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution, as interpreted by the Law Secretary in the circular dated 25th of November, 2020.”

Meanwhile, the court directed Law Secretary as well as the Director Colleges to file the statement of facts and response to the petition by December 23.

“Meanwhile, the operation of Circular No. 07-JK(LD) of 2020 dated 25th of November, 2020 and communication No. DC-JE/Circular/2020 dated 1st of December, 2020 shall stay qua the case of the petitioners herein.”

Further, the court ordered that the Director Colleges shall also remain personally present before the Court on the next date of hearing to explain his position.

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