August 26th, 2010 21:15 EST
SC fines Union Govt. Rs.10,000/- for failure to respond to Court`s direction in J&K Delimitation Case
A Bench of the Supreme Court of India comprising JJ Mr. G.S. Singhvi and Mr. A.K. Ganguly today slapped a fine of Rs.10,000/- on the Union of India, respondent no.1, in the SLP filed by J&K National Panthers Party for having failed to respond to the direction of the Supreme Court to file a comprehensive affidavit of a competent officer in reply to the Special Leave Petition of J&K National Panthers Party seeking Court`s intervention for holding Delimitation of the Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies in J&K.
The court on 12th July, 2010 in its order observed, "Learned counsel representing the Union of India is directed to ensure that a comprehensive affidavit of the competent officer is filed within a period of two weeks after supplying copy thereof to the counsel for the petitioner and the State of Jammu and Kashmir".
The Supreme Court expressed serious concern on the Union apathy in responding to the direction of the court. Presiding Justice G.S. Singhvi observed that the court had directed to file comprehensive affidavit within two weeks and that has not been done in one month and 14 days. The court told Prof. Bhim Singh, a senior attorney of the Panthers Party, the petitioner, that the court is conscious of the fact and urgency of the matter that`s why we have directed the Union to deposit Rs.10,000/- in the registry.
The Panthers Party has been fighting for seeking Constitution of Delimitation Commission as Delimitation has not been done since 1981. Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India on behalf of Congress Party, in 2002 had signed Common Minimum Programme (CMP) with the Panthers Party, PDP and the CPM to constitute Delimitation Commission. The Panthers Party withdrew from the Coalition Govt. in 2005 when the Congress refused to implement the agreement. The Panthers Party alone has been agitating inside the Legislature and the Courts to ensure that Delimitation is also held in J&K the only state which suffered this discrimination in the country.
Interestingly, the Congress is in power in the Centre and the State also. Both the governments, the Central Govt. as well as the State Govt. have been opposing the demand of the Panthers Party in Supreme Court.
The court directed the Union of India to respond to its earlier direction and file a comprehensive reply within two weeks. Ordered to list the case after four weeks.
Those who assisted Prof. Bhim Singh included Mr. B.S. Billowria, Mrs. Ritu Puri, Mr. Satish Vig, Advocate-on-Record.