NEW DELHI: Taking serious objection to the dress worn by a senior bureaucrat of Rajasthan government, the Supreme Court today pulled him up and adjourned the case for the day while asking him to adhere to a "proper dress code".
The top court directed the additional chief secretary of Urban Development and Housing Department of the state government to check up the rules of the dress code worn by bureaucrats.
"What dress are you wearing? There is a dress code for the bureaucrats.
Have you gone through the rules? If you don't know the rules and understand what dress an official should wear while appearing in court, then you don't deserve to be an additional chief secretary," a bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul said.
"Do you allow a person wearing slippers, dhoti or casual dress in your office," the bench asked Additional Chief Secretary Manjit Singh of the Urban Development and Housing Department, who was wearing a formal shirt and trouser.
The top court asked the Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni, appearing for the state government along with advocate Aishwarya Bhati, to apprise the court about the rules governing the dress code tomorrow.
Additional Chief Secretary Manjit Singh apologised to the court, after which the bench said it would hear the matter tomorrow.
The bench was hearing an appeal against the verdict of Rajasthan High Court of May 13, 2015, quashing a government notification of September 18, 2009 withdrawing declaration of the village Napasar in Bikaner district as Nagar Palika (municipality).
The top court had passed couple of orders in February asking the state government to produce the notification and later withdrawing the status.
Annoyed over the state government not producing the relevant document despite repeated orders, the apex court had on March 13 said, "We note with anguish the lack of assistance to this Court from the state of Rajasthan".
The bench said, "We are informed that an officer of the OSD level unfortunately passed away in February and that is being touted as an excuse not to produce the relevant notification despite the lapse for almost a month".
The top court had then summoned the secretary of the state government and asked him to remain personally present in the Court with the notification on the next date of hearing which was today.
Sarpanch of Napasar panchayat, Champa Lal had challenged the order of High Court quashing the notification of withdrawal of status saying that the order was passed mechanically without appreciating the fact that petitioner there had no locus.
He had said that notification for Nagar Palika status was correctly withdrawn by the state government as the Gram Panchayat of Napasar had a paltry population of 22,893 with 1878 family living below the poverty line and over 90 per cent of them dependent on agriculture.
Hence, it was not competent to function with the imposition of municipal taxes, Lal had said.