High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Mohinder Kaur v. Sarabjit Singh & Ors. - COCP-40-2005  RD-P&H 4314 (18 July 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT FOR THE STATES OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH
COCP No.40 of 2005
Date of decision: July 13, 2006.
Sarabjit Singh & Ors.
Present: Shri Bhavyadeep Walia, Advocate for the petitioner.
Shri G.S. Cheema, Sr. Dy. Advocate General, Punjab.
Shri Raj Kumar Garg, Advocate for respondent No.3.
Surya Kant, J. (Oral)
This order shall dispose of COCP No.1623 of 2004 and COCP No.40 of 2004 as, apart from the parties being common, the issues are also co-relating to each other.
In order to prevent the petitioner, who is a duly elected Sarpanch of Gram Panchayat of village Dhogri, from holding the said office, an order dated 1.6.2004 was passed whereby the Block Development and Panchayat Officer was appointed Administrator of the Gram Panchayat.
The petitioner impugned the said order in CWP No.11209 of 2004. A Division Bench of this Court allowed her writ petition and the above said order dated 1.6.2004 was quashed with a direction that, "the petitioner is permitted to continue as Sarpanch for the remainder of the term, in accordance with law."
COCP No.40 of 2005 -: 2 :-
It appears that instead of allowing her to continue in terms of the directions referred to above, she was placed under suspension. The petitioner had to invoke the writ jurisdiction of this court again by way of CWP No.20240 of 2004 to challenge her suspension. On 17.12.2004, a Division Bench of this Court stayed operation of the said order.
Undeterred by one or the other orders passed by this Court in favour of the petitioner, the respondents did not want to comply with the order staying the petitioner's suspension and refused to hand over the charge, which was earlier taken from her. Firstly, the petitioner filed COCP No.1623 of 2004 alleging non-compliance of judgment dated 14.9.2004, followed by COCP No.40 of 2005 which she filed in order to seek implementation of the interim order dated 17.12.2004 vide which operation of the order placing her under suspension was stayed.
In response to the show cause notice issued in these contempt proceedings, some of the respondents have filed their affidavits stating, inter-alia, that both the orders have been complied with. In COCP No.40 of 2005, respondent No.3 has come up with a stand that the charge has been handed over to the petitioner on 29.1.2005. For the delay in handing over the charge, it is claimed that the Administrator of the Gram Panchayat appointed by the respondents remained admitted in the hospital from 12.9.2004 to 30.12.2004.
After haring Learned Counsel for the parties, I am satisfied that the "admission" of the Administrator in hospital does not appear to be incidental and was apparently meant to delay the implementation of the orders passed by this Court, referred to above. In the backdrop of the allegations of malice levelled by the petitioner in these contempt petitions, it COCP No.40 of 2005 -: 3 :-
cannot be taken lightly that the delay in handing over the charge to the petitioner was bona fide or due to procedural niceties. The allegations of mala fide need to be viewed seriously.
However, having regard to the fact that the respondents have deliberately delayed the compliance of directions issued by this court but the petitioner has since been restored to her position as Sarpanch of the Gram Panchayat, and Shri Cheema, learned Senior Deputy Advocate General, Punjab assures that the no obstruction in lawful discharge of duties by the petitioner shall be caused in futre, these petitions are disposed of with a direction that the petitioner be compensated with costs of Rs.10,000/-, which shall be recovered personally from respondents No.3 and 4 in equal shares. It is directed that the State Govt. shall not reimburse the amount of costs from the State Exchequer. If the amount of costs of Rs.10,000/-, i.e.
Rs.5,000/- each is not paid by the said respondents within two weeks from today, the petitioner will be at liberty to get these proceedings revived.
July 13, 2006. [ Surya Kant ]
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