After HC rap, Dr Kaiser given charge of Principal GMC

After HC rap, Dr Kaiser given charge of Principal GMC

Srinagar, May 3: The administration on Friday gave charge of Principal Government Medical College (GMC) to Dr Kaiser Ahmad Kaul, days after Jammu and Kashmir High Court chided the government for not replacing Dr Samia Rashid despite quashing of a cabinet order by it.
“Consequent upon the directions given by the Chief Secretary, J&K, Dr Kaiser Ahmad Kaul, HOD Pediatrics, Government Medical College, Srinagar is hereby directed to take over the charge of Principal, Government Medical College Srinagar with immediate effect,” reads an order issued by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan, a copy of which lies with a news agency.
The interim arrangement has been made in pursuance of the directions by the High Court, the order said.
Last week the high court had asked the government to reveal the authority under which Dr Samia Rashid was continuing as Principal GMC despite quashing of a cabinet order by it whereby she was appointed as the Principal.
On April 30, the high court had observed that it would seal the GMC office and handcuff the officials if the government failed to make the interim arrangement for the post immediately.
The court made the observation while hearing a contempt petition filed by Dr Javid Choudhary who had alleged violation of court’s judgment passed in February this year.
The case came up for hearing before the court today and Javed Iqbal, Sr. AAG, placed on record the copy of the communication addressed to him by the Deputy Secretary to the Government, General Administration Department, perusal whereof reveals that the matter for regular appointment of the Principal was under consideration of the Government. He said because of Darbar Move and the engagement of the officers with the Election related matters, the meeting of the Selection cum Establishment Committee could not be convened after March 8. “It is further noticed from the communication that the Government is in the process of complying the judgment within two weeks positively,” the court observed.
Regarding the continuation of the Principal, it has been stated that the Principal, GMC is continuing as an interim arrangement on the orders of Health and Medical Education Department purely in the interest of patient care and the arrangement will be reviewed on 6th-7th May and decision taken accordingly.
“We have heard counsel for the parties and considered the submissions made. No explanation is submitted by respondent no. 3 regarding her continuation as Principal, Government Medical College, Srinagar, despite quashment of the appointment order, from 28th February, 2019. The respondents cannot even plead ignorance of the directions passed as all of them have been regularly represented by their counsels, therefore, the disobedience is with knowledge right from 28th February, 2019, and not vice versa,” the court observed. “The knowledge of the respondents is further corroborated by the fact that the judgment of the court, of which the violation is alleged, has been served upon respondents with promptitude after its pronouncement. There is an affidavit of the petitioner also to that effect on record stating that the respondents have been served with the copy of the judgment on 9th March, 2019.”
Even after the proper service of the judgment, the court observed that Dr Saima Rashid is continuing as Principal, Government Medical College, Srinagar, which does not only reflect of her disobedience towards the court orders but also shows her ignorance to the procedural laws and Rules, for, she is continuing on the post of Principal, Government Medical College, Srinagar, without any orders, as the one which was issued in her favour has been quashed.
“Therefore, prima facie it is apparent that the respondent no. 3 is holding the post with absolutely no legal or justifiable authority. The respondents do not deny that respondent no. 3 is continuing on the post. Otherwise also, there are communications and orders placed on record that would show that respondent no. 3 is continuing on the post,” the court said, underling that the prestige, honour and dignity of the court is supreme and nobody, irrespective of the stature, would be allowed to play with the honour or dignity of the court orders.
“The contempt jurisdiction is a special jurisdiction which has to be exercised sparingly, whenever an act affects the administration of justice or which tends to impede its course or tends to shake the public confidence in the judicial institutions,” the court said, adding, “It is not only the power but the duty of the court to uphold and maintain the dignity of the courts and majesty of law which may call for such extreme steps. If for proper administration of justice and to ensure due compliance with the orders passed by the courts, it is required to take strict view under the Act it should not hesitate in wielding the potent weapon of contempt.”
The court further said that it was prima facie convinced that the stand taken by the respondents for making regular appointment against the post in question but “we reflect our serious concern regarding the non-implementation of the part of the judgment which provided for making interim arrangement for running the day to day affairs of the College.”
“The stand now taken by the GAD that the respondent no. 3 is working as Principal as an interim arrangement is belied by the approach adopted by the respondents as they could not produce any order to support such view,” the court said.
“Respondents 1 and 2 shall ensure implementation of the judgment within two weeks from today. They shall also ensure making the interim arrangement as directed by the Court by or before the next date,” the court said and ordered that Dr Saima Rashid shall stop functioning as Principal, Government College, Srinagar, from today in compliance to the judgment passed by this Court.
“Registrar Judicial, Srinagar, shall ensure implementation of the order by 4.00 pm today and report compliance. The matter be listed again at 4.00 pm.”
The Registrar Judicial, the court said, shall associate the Inspector General of Police to facilitate compliance in the event any difficulty is faced by her in ensuring compliance of the directions.
“Respondents 1 and 2 shall ensure interim arrangement in the meanwhile by or before the next date and till such time respondent no. 2 shall ensure smooth and proper functioning of the College and the Associated Hospitals. It shall be the responsibility of the Principal Secretary to the Government, Health and Medical Education Department to ensure that the patient care does not suffer till the interim arrangement is made.” (GNS)