CUTTACK: The School and Mass Education (SME) department is in a quandary over mounting number of cases against it in the Orissa High Court.In a bid to tackle the situation, the department has taken in its panel 11 standing counsels and allotted them different education districts to take stock of the pending cases and expedite responses to avoid displeasure of the High Court.
Sources said at present, 16,509 cases and 1,124 contempt cases are pending against the department in the Court. The department had so far been able to file counter affidavits in only 5,283 cases.The situation was stickier for the department as it has not complied orders issued by the High Court in 14,598 cases making it vulnerable to large number of contempt cases. While the department in Jajpur district tops the list by failing to comply with orders issued in 1351 cases, Balasore and Cuttack follow with orders not complied in 1,232 and 1,158 cases respectively.
The department is already lagging behind in responding to contempt cases by being able to submit show cause reply in only 235 of the 1,124 contempt cases.While Jajpur district is involved in highest number of contempt cases (239), Keonjhar and Balasore follow with 153 and 89 contempt cases respectively. The Jajpur circle has been able to respond to only two of the 239 cases so far.
The department has been advised by the Advocate General’s Office to file compliance affidavit in contempt cases in time and if more time is required then time petition may be filed explaining the reasons in time.As per a latest report, 1,71,273 cases including 5,442 contempt petitions are pending in the High Court.