The Madras High Court has said the Tamil Nadu Government should evolve a litigation policy as had been done by the Centre to avoid vexatious appeals and wasting of the court’s time.

Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar passed the order on a contempt petition against K.Ganesan, Secretary, Higher Education Department, and Nalini Ravindran, Director of Collegiate Education, seeking to punish them for not obeying a court order.

By such a policy, vexatious appeals and unnecessary spending on litigations and wasting of the court’s time could be avoided, the judge held.

In the petition, M. Uthandaraman and four others said they served as Assistants in government colleges. They finished M.A. and Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) and M.Phil. They had obtained more than 55 per cent in MLIS. After acquiring the necessary additional qualifications, they sought promotion as Librarians in government colleges.

As their request was not considered, they moved the High Court. The court directed the authorities to consider the petitioners’ claim and pass appropriate orders within two months. As no appointment was made, they filed the present contempt petition in April last year.

Meanwhile, the State took up the matter with the Supreme Court. But the court dismissed a petition seeking to condone the delay in preferring the appeal and imposed costs of Rs.25,000 payable to the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority (TNSLSA) within four weeks.

The authorities were also directed to implement the High Court order.

Accordingly, the government appointed the petitioners as Librarians in five government colleges on September 23 this year. It also paid the costs to the TNSLSA.

In his order treating the contempt petition as closed, Justice Paul Vasanthakumar said in view of the Supreme Court order and the implementation of the High Court order, no further adjudication was necessary.

He, however, observed that the condemnation (by the Supreme Court) could have been avoided if proper legal advice had been obtained by the authorities.

The Tamil Nadu Government should frame a litigation policy as had been done by the Central Government so that such a kind of vexatious appeal could be avoided, the court held.