SHILLONG, Dec 05: Non consultation with the court has resulted in the Meghalaya High Court setting aside a notification issued by the state government for the amendment of the Meghalaya State Guest Rules, 1991.
At the same time, the Court has also directed the state government to revise the Rules within one week failing which sou-moto contempt against the officers will be taken.
In an order passed here on Wednesday, the single bench headed by Justice SR Sen said that the Meghalaya State Guest Rule, 1991 was there at the inception of the High Court but suddenly it was withdrawn without consultation of the High Court by some officers.
“Government vide amendment, had issued a Notification dated October 4, whereby they have amended Rule 10 (a) of the Meghalaya State Guest Rule, 1991. It is unfortunate that such amendment was made without consultation with the High Court. Accordingly, the Notification dated October4 is hereby set aside,” Justice Sen said.
The bench also directed the government to revise the Rule as follows - “Retired Judges or Spouse or Children” and said, “So, it means that they should include Spouse and Children also for medical treatment. Law Secretary is directed to revise the same as ordered above within a week.”
It also directed the GAD department to make Protocol Service as well as the Meghalaya State Guest Rules of Retired Judges at the same tune and equal facilities to be provided as is applicable to sitting Judges including Spouse or Children.
The bench pointed out that as per the Resolution dated February 20, the Full Court passed a Resolution for enhancement of domestic help for Retired Judges, but the same was sent back for reconsideration of the Full Court.
“I am not pressing right now for enhancement of the domestic help and it is left with the discretion of the Government. However, domestic allowances as per the Resolution, Government should also include Spouse or Children of the Retired Judges,” Justice Sen said.
The government has also been directed to immediately issue notification on matter relating to reimbursement of phone bills of Retired Chief Justice, Retired Judges of High Court, which was fixed at Rs 10,000 only per month in the Full Court.
That means Retired Chief Justice and Judges will be entitled to Rs. 10,000 only per month for Mobile bill, Landline and Internet bills etc, as well as to fix Mobile at the rate of Rs 80,000 only for the Judges.
It is also mentioned here that one and a months earlier, the Chief Justice had convened a meeting comprising of Chief Secretary, Addl Chief Secretary, GAD and Law Secretary, Govt. of Meghalaya but it appears that nothing has happened till date.
“This whole exercise is to be completed within a week from the date of the order otherwise this Court will be compelled to take sou-moto contempt against the officers,” the bench said.
The next hearing on the matter is scheduled to be held on December 13 for issuing further orders.