The court passed a slew of directions in this regard to the chief secretary and dozens of top bureaucrats who were physically present in the courtroom.
The division bench of Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah and Justice Sunil Dutta Mishra, passed the directions while hearing more than 150 contempt petitions.
Expressing concern over pending cases of contempt, the court observed, “A wrong message goes against state officers as one can question the magnitude of respect being shown by them to court orders, after witnessing heaps of pending contempt applications in the high court.”
The high court also directed the chief secretary to instruct his subordinates to implement the provisions of Bihar Litigation Policy in “letter and spirit”. This policy was introduced in 2011 for preventing the state from being biggest litigant in high court. Each department was directed to appoint nodal officers for inviting and redressing the grievances pertaining to respective departments.
Giving a note of reprieve, the court also ordered categorization of contempt matters involving heavy financial implications on the state and submit a list. “Those matters where the state has chosen to prefer appeal instead of complying with the court’s orders, the same may be expeditiously pressed before the appellate forum,” it said.
Additional advocate general Anjani Kumar assured the high court that all its directions will be followed and state officers will adopt a pragmatic approach for reducing the number of contempt matters pending in high court.