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HC issues show cause notice to State's Chief Secretary for contempt

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Aug 9 (UNI) Bombay High Court today issued a 'show cause' notice to Maharashtra Chief Secretary asking him why should not the state be held in contempt of court for not executing the order passed by the court on February 15 this year.

A division bench comprising Justices R M Lodha and N H Patil were hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the National Institution for the Blind (NIB) along with the ILS Legal Aide Foundation on various problems faced by the physically challenged people.

The court was today dealing with the recruitment of 9,120 handicapped candidates, as that many vacancies existed in the various government departments falling under several categories.

Earlier, the court was told by the Additional Government Pleader Pradeep Patil that while 19,202 vacancies had been identified in 2004, about 10,082 had been filled, while for the remaining vacancies, the recruitment process was in progress.

The court came down heavily on the state stating the Persons with Disabilities Act was implemented in 1995 and still the government wanted more time to fill the vacancies and had been requesting for extension to complete this job.

In February, the court had marked July one as the final deadline to fill the vacancies for the physically challenged people and the governemnt had failed to comply with the court orders.

The court held that after rejecting the government's appeal to extend the deadline till December 31 then, the court had marked June 31 but it seemed that the state was adamant to go ahead and did not consider the directions of the court.

While the AGP requested the court to further extend the deadline by six months, the court issued the show cause notice without taking cognisance of the contempt and directed the Chief Secretary to state reasons by September seven, why should not the court hold it against the state.

Justice Lodha said, ''The Act was made to bring succour to the handicapped people but it seemed the state had no desire to fill the vacancies.'' Advocate Uday Warunjikar, appearing for the petitioners, told the court that while the case was going on for a long time, the state had failed to submit any of its resolutions passed in this regard and neither had they produced in court any of the vacancy identification reports.

The case will come up for further hearing on September seven. The court has asked the Additional Secretary of the Social Justice and Special Assistance Department to remain present in court as the Chief Secretary is busy with relief work at Amravati.


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