The Bombay High Court has issued a bailable warrant against the Education Officer, Secondary, Zilla Parishad, Nashik for failing to file a reply in an education matter despite repeated reminders being sent since July 2022.
Officer failed to respond to AGP's mails to file affidavit
A division bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Neela Gokhale took a stern view of the non-filing of reply after the additional government pleader (AGP) informed the bench that he has been asking the education officer to file a reply, but hasn’t received any response.
The court noted in its order that the AGP had written several emails seeking instructions to file an affidavit in the matter but the officer failed to acknowledge the email, let alone respond.
Won't tolerate this conduct from govt officers: HC
“We refuse to tolerate this conduct from government servants…If we find this continues, we will proceed in contempt against such officers because this is a clearest possible interference with or obstruction to the administration of justice,” said the bench. It added: “We will also proceed to impose financial penalties in the form of fines recoverable from them personally for this continued disrespect to the Court and lack of cooperation to the AGPs.”
The HC was hearing a petition filed by a teacher who was appointed as an assistant teacher in 1992 in a school run by the Samata Shikshan Prasarak Sanstha in Yeole, Nashik and wrongly removed by an oral direction. While he was reinstated in 1997 by the school tribunal, and the HC directed his appointment to be considered from 1992, his services were considered from 1997.
The teacher, represented by Advocates Ahmad Abdi and Eknath Dhokale, contended that he is entitled to all the service benefits as an Assistant teacher, including all increments and benefits of seniority from 1992 onwards.
Court had issued notice to respondents last year
In July 2022, the court issued notice to all the respondents.
During the hearing, AGP VM Mali informed the court that he had sent several reminders to the education officer for taking instructions, however it was in vain. The first email was written to the education officer on July 20, 2022, a reminder was sent in February, March and April this year but no response was received.
“We refuse to let the Additional Government Pleaders at our Bar or the Government Pleader’s office be compromised in this manner by serving employees of the State Government. It is not possible to accept that the AGP who appears or that the Government Pleader himself or his office can be continuously embarrassed before the Court. They have been seeking instructions since July 2022 and we are now in April 2023.”
The court set the bail amount at Rs. 15,000 payable by the education officer personally.