Assembly Secretary tenders apology - ECAS Punjab

Assembly Secretary tenders apology

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Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27

Less than a fortnight after Punjab Vidhan Sabha Secretary Shashi Lakhanpal Mishra and another official were asked to explain why they should not be held guilty of contempt and sentenced accordingly, the two today appeared before the Punjab and Haryana High Court before submitting an unconditional apology.

This is, perhaps, the first case in which personal appearance of a senior officer was ordered since the High Court went into restricted functioning mode in March-end following the Covid outbreak. The High Court has since then been hearing cases through video-conferencing.

The matter has its genesis in a pending petition filed before the High Court last year by Jaswinder Singh against the Vidhan Sabha Secretariat and other respondents. Taking up the petition, Justice Augustine George Masih had stayed the petitioner's demotion from the principal chief reporter's post, while observing that Jaswinder Singh for the last 27 years had been shown senior to a private respondent.

The High Court had also ordered that the petitioner's demotion vide impugned order dated November 13, 2019, would remain stayed till the next date of hearing. Appearing on his behalf during the hearing of the contempt plea, senior counsel Patwalia submitted that the petitioner, to his utter shock, was demoted as chief reporter on March 4.

Issuing a show-cause notice on the contempt petition, Justice Jaishree Thakur ruled that there was prima facie deliberate, intentional and flagrant violation of High Court order passed on January 7.

As the case came up for resumed hearing this morning, Justice Sudhir Mittal recorded in his order that the contemnors were present in the court before accepting the unconditional apology submitted on behalf of the contemnors.

from The Tribune

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