Uttarakhand HC recalls its order in contempt matter
The Uttarakhand High Court has recalled its order passed on November 17 last in a contempt matter concerning then CAT Chairman Justice L Narsimha Reddy on the basis of a recall application filed by Indian Forest Service officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi.
In the latest order passed on July 29, Justice Manoj Kumar Tiwari of the high court said, ''For the reasons stated in the affidavit filed in support of recall application, order dated 17.11.2021, is recalled.'' ''Recall application stands allowed accordingly,'' it added.
The present dispute goes back to February 20, 2019, when a single-judge bench of Justice Sharad Sharma had issued a civil contempt notice to then CAT Chairman Reddy on a contempt petition of Chaturvedi for ''willful disobedience'' of the Uttarakhand High Court orders dated 19.6.2017 and 21.8.2018.
Through these orders, the high court had directed that the service matter case of Chaturvedi, of downgrading his annual confidential report, would be heard by the Nainital bench of CAT only.
Justice L Narsimha Reddy immediately filed a Special Leave Petition against this order before the Supreme Court in March 2019. On 11.3.2019, the Supreme Court had stayed ''all further proceedings'' in the contempt petition ''until further orders''. The matter is still pending before the Supreme Court.
However, on 17.11.2021, the single bench of Justice Manoj Tiwari of the Uttarakhand High Court suddenly listed the matter for hearing in which no counsel/party was present from any side and discharged CAT chairman Justice Reddy of contempt charges.
However, he gave the petitioner the ''liberty to seek recall of this order, as and when SLP is decided in his favor''.
Chaturvedi had filed a recall application on 2.12.2021, citing the Supreme Court stay order and precedence it would create for similar other contempt cases.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court had observed, ''The directions given in the impugned order for constitution of SIT again his surely an error and there had been a clear oversight and without reference to the factual details brought in the affidavit of the police.''
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