The case pertains to non-payment of revised salary to four physical education teachers

CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Wednesday dropped contempt proceedings against two senior State Government officials after the guilty officials tendered “unconditional apology” to the court.

The bench of Justice P K Tripathy and Justice L K Mishra had on Tuesday severely reprimanded the State School and Mass Education Secretary and Director of the Secondary Education for violation of court order. Directing the two officials for personal appearance on Wednesday, the bench had asked why the two erring officials should not be booked and held guilty for contempt of court.

Accordingly, the two officials, Suresh Patnaik and Kishore Mohanty, appeared before the court and pleaded for dropping the contempt proceedings. “Non-compliance of the court order was not deliberate nor intentional”, the two officials told the court through an affidavit.

Writ petitions

The HC on February 26 had asked the Government to file counters in response to writ petitions filed separately by four school teachers seeking directions to the Government for payment of revised salary under IACPEd. Although, the four teachers are trained physical education teachers, the Secondary Education Director had rejected their pleas.

Tagging up all the four writs, the bench had last month ordered the officials to file counters within three weeks, failing which they shall appear in the court in person.

But neither the Government filed any affidavit nor the officials were present in the court when the matter came up for hearing on Tuesday.

Taking exceptions to the violation of the court orders, the bench had asked the officials to appear in the court in person and explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them.

The apologetic officials however informed the court that all the petitions they had received in this regard would be disposed of within three months.

The court, accepting the pleas, dropped the contempt proceedings.