“This is contempt of court”: Delhi High Court issues notice in contempt plea against AAP-led Delhi Govt for failure to appoint IHBAS Director

  • Gargi Chatterjee
  • 06:18 PM, 23 Nov 2021

A division bench of Delhi High Court presided over by Chief Justice D. N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to the Delhi government today in a plea challenging the extension of the tenure of Dr Nimesh G Desai as the Chief of the Institute of Human Behaviour and allied sciences for another year.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing the petitioner Tej Bahadur Singh, a retired professor from IHBAS, has alleged that the Delhi Government has time and again, extended the service tenure of Director, IHBAS – Dr. Nimesh G. Desai, who retired in October last year and despite assuring the Court that they will appoint a new Director by November 30, they have now gone on to extend the tenure of the previous Director.

Bhushan said in this regard that the Government had told the Court that it has taken out advertisements for the post, however, the same have been withdrawn and now the government has merely extended the tenure of superannuation of the previous Director.

"This is the grossest kind of contempt", Bhushan argued.

In an order dated September 23, the Court had ordered that the selection process of Director of IHBAS shall be completed at the earliest, setting November 30 as an outer limit.

“The work can also be completed prior to the aforesaid time limit,” the Court had noted.

The Court lashed at the Counsel representing the Institute stating that the party has disobeyed the September 23 order, and that this amounts to overreach.

“To adjust one man, you have cancelled an advertisement for selections, and are extending the tenure of superannuation, under what law are you doing this?,” Justice Jyoti Singh, visibly perturbed, asked the Counsel.

The Counsel argued that there is no bar on extending tenure, to which the Court observed that this amounts to contempt of Court and issued notice to file reply and show cause why the new recruitment process is stopped.

Cause Title: Tej Bahadur Singh vs GNCTD