HC first orders jail to Fin Secy, then relents

Justice Debasish Kargupta of Calcutta High Court on Friday ordered state Finance Secretary H K Dwivedi to be sent to jail for not complying with the several orders passed by the court since 1998 in a case pertaining to the employee status of 238 people recruited by Social Welfare Department.

The situation was salavaged when two government councels made vehement pleas and sought some more time to carry out the court orders. Justice Kargupta relented and gave December 18 time limet for the government to implement the court orders.

In 1996, the state government had recruited 238 persons for a project under Social Welfare Department. Two years later, those recuited moved High Court with plea that they should be treated as government employees. A single bench of the High Court then directed the government to treat them as government employees.

The government, however, challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court but its plea was rejected and the order of the single bench remained valid. But the state government did not gave the status of the government employees to the 238 staff members.

In 2008, state government introduced a health scheme for the government employees but those persons were not covered by the scheme. They then again moved the High Court. In November, the High Court asked the state to bring them under the health scheme and asked finance secretary to appear before the court. Justice Kargupta on Friday was not satisfied with the explanation given by the finance secretary and directed that he should be sent to jail for not complying with previous orders of the court.

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