Tripura HC, government at loggerheads over law secretary

Agartala, July 23 (IANS) The Tripura High Court and the government here were at a loggerheads after the court removed Law Secretary Datamohan Jamatia from his post.

The state government has expressed its inability to relieve Jamatia from his responsibilities.

A contempt of court case against Jamatia was pending in the Supreme Court.

A high court notification, issued on July 14, transferred Jamatia and posted him as a district and sessions judge of Unakoti district.

The court also asked him to take over the new assignment on August 3 and asked Chief Secretary Yashpal Singh to choose a new law secretary.

“Law Minister Tapan Chakraborty, in a letter to high court Chief Justice Deepak Gupta, expressed the state government’s inability to relieve Jamatia as law secretary as he is looking after various pending cases in the Supreme Court and upcoming elections to local bodies,” an official told IANS.

The official, on the condition of anonymity, said: “The minister told the chief justice that Jamatia has been looking after the state government’s appeal to the Supreme Court against the high court’s en-masse dismissal of 10,323 government teachers by an order on May 7 last year.”

“Besides, the law secretary’s service is urgently required by the state government in smoothly conducting elections to various urban local bodies, including Agartala Municipal Corporation, in December and elections to 527 village committees under the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council in March next year,” the official said quoting the letter.

The high court’s decision on the minister’s letter is yet to be communicated to the state government.

A division bench of the high court in April wanted contempt of court charges to be framed against Jamatia for making a derogatory remark on the judiciary in an official note to Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.

Jamatia, who denied making any derogatory remarks against the high court, filed a petition before the Supreme Court against the high court decision.

The official said the law minister also raised question over the appointment of Unakoti District Session Judge Gautam Debnath as officer on special duty (OSD) in the high court.

“The high court may appoint OSD but the post has to be created by the state government before any posting is made, as otherwise financial and other complications will arise in future,” the law minister said in his letter.

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