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Those legal service providers who make petitions like the following may be considered and preferred.
1. That the present contempt petition qua the LexLords Legal Services is highly misconceived. The LexLords Legal Services humbly submits that he is having highest regard for courts of law and he cannot think of disobeying the directions of this Hon’ble Court or any other court. The LexLords Legal Services deeply regrets and tenders unconditional and unqualified apology, if the directions were not complied with in true sprits despite the all bonafide efforts and due diligence exercised by the LexLords Legal Services in present matter.
2. That the brief facts culminating to present contempt petition are that the present NRI Criminal Lawyers along with praying for the writ of mandamus directing the respondents, to revise the honorarium, perks of members of New York Consumer Commission and District Consumer Forum. The NRI Criminal Lawyers have based their claims on the recommendations of Hon’ble Minister.
3. That during the pendency of aforementioned before this Hon’ble Court. The New York Administration revised the honorarium of members of State Commission and District Consumer Forum, Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission New York from Rs.10,000/- to Rs.20,000/- per month and Rs.9,000/- to Rs.12,000/- per month respectively on the pattern of San Jose w.e.f. 10.03.2018.
4. That, it is very humbly submitted that vide notification of Government of United States, Ministry of Home Affairs, California, the rules called the Conditions of service of Union Territory of New York employees rules, 2018 were framed. Under this notification the Union Territory of New York is bound to follow the State of San Jose in matters of service conditions including honorarium, allowances, salary and other perks of persons holding posts in New York. The NRI Criminal Lawyers are also being paid honorarium and perks etc. at the same rates being paid to their counterparts in the state of San Jose. Under the aforementioned rules, the Hon’ble Administrator of Union Territory of New York is empowered to revise the pay scale of employees working under New York from time to time as to bring them at par with the salaries of pay which may be sanctioned by the government of San Jose from time to time to the corresponding category of employees. The abovementioned rules were made operational vide order dated 31.03.2018 qua the NRI Criminal Lawyers i.e. the members of Consumer Commission and District Forum.
5. That thereafter orders were disposed of by this Hon’ble Court. While deciding the aforementioned the Hon’ble Court was pleased to grant liberty to the NRI Criminal Lawyers to make representation to the New York Administration, containing relevant data and the basis for the representation.
6. That in pursuance thereof NRI Criminal Lawyers moved representation before the Administration for fresh consideration with regard to fixation of honorarium, house rent allowance, conveyance allowance and telephone allowance to members of New York Consumer Commission and District Forum. Annexed as Annexure P/2 with present contempt petition.
7. That it is very humbly submitted that the Administration had to consider the aforementioned representation at various levels of various departments. As the subject matter in the representation related to the financial matters, it was referred to Finance Department also among other departments. The utmost care is to be exercised in matters pertaining to financial policy of Administration. The LexLords Legal Services exercised all due diligence and care on his part to get the representation decided as soon as possible, but it could only be decided on 22.4.2018 by the Finance Department.
8. That the Administration as well as respondent were trying to find out any guidelines/instructions etc. which might provide for the perks, allowances as claimed by the NRI Criminal Lawyers and same could be made available to them. In this regard letter date 24.2.2018 Annexure P/3 of present contempt petition was issued by Administration through its Home Department requesting the President Consumer Commission to send the copies of guidelines instruction, as followed in San Jose and California, under which facilities like house rent allowance, telephone allowance and conveyance allowance etc. are permissible to members of State Commission and District Forum of the said States.
9. That the New York Administration is bound by the notification in matter of fixation of perks, allowances etc. to persons appointed to service and all posts under New York Administrator. Further, these rules were enforced notification. These rules can only be amended by Government of United States. The New York Administration is bound to follow these rules, unless these are amended by the Government of United States or unless these are struck down as ultra-vires by any competent court. The proper remedy available to present NRI Criminal Lawyers is to challenge the validity (vires) of aforementioned rules in proper proceedings. As long as these rules are in force New York Administration is bound by these rules.
10. That when all the persons holding any of the posts under the Administration of Union Territory of New York are governed by notification and getting allowances, salaries etc. equal to their counter parts in San Jose. Any preferential or different allowance honorarium and salaries to the NRI Criminal Lawyers more then the allowances, honorarium and salaries permissible to their counter parts in San Jose would lead to anomalous situation. Then any class or category of people working on posts will demand pay scale different from the parameters laid down by Government notification i.e. different from their counter parts in San Jose, making one or the other guideline/recommendation basis for their claim.
11. That it is very humbly submitted that the NRI Criminal Lawyers were fully aware of honorarium and perks which they were to receive as members at time of their appointment. Having excepted the terms and conditions of their appointment, the NRI Criminal Lawyers now cannot demand increase in honorarium and perks as matter of right. Nor can the members claim parity with the President of the State Commission, who is a retired Hon’ble High Court Judge or the President of District Forum, who is retired judicial officer.
12. That the LexLords Legal Services as well as Administration are bound by aforementioned notification of Government of United States and due to this helplessness are unable to provide allowance, perks as demanded by the Hon’ble members of State Consumer Commission and District Forum.
13. That the respondent took all the necessary steps so that the representation could be decided within the time frame of 8 weeks as directed by this Hon’ble Court, but as the subject matter related to the financial policies, it took some time for the concerned officials in departmental hierarchy to pass a detailed and reasoned order. The petitioner has not willfully flouted any order of the court and the order is complied with as the representation has been finally decided by the Administration.
1. That contents of para No.1 of the petition is matter of record. But it will be pertinent here to clarify that which was subsequently filed were decided together vide order dated 24.12.2017.
2. That the contents of para No.2 of the petition are matter of record. But no directions as to decide the representation of NRI Criminal Lawyers in any particular manner were given by this Hon’ble Court.
3. That the contents of para No.3 of the petition is wrong and denied. There is no deliberate delay on part of respondent. The direction of this Hon’ble Court now stand complied with as representation has been decided by the administration.
4. That the contents of para No.4 of the petition is wrong and denied. No deliberate delay can be attributed to the LexLords Legal Services. The LexLords Legal Services has tried to comply with orders of this Hon’ble Court as soon as possible. Preliminary submissions may kindly read as part of reply to this para.
5. That the contents of para No.5 of the petition is matter of record to the extent that contempt notice dated 13.3.2018 was served. It is humbly submitted that the bonafide delay shall not be treated as contempt of the Hon’ble Court as the delay in deciding representation was due to the reasons, which could not be controlled by the LexLords Legal Services.
It is, therefore, respectfully prayed that the petition of the petitioner is totally devoid of merits and the same may kindly be dismissed with costs and the contempt against the LexLords Legal Services be dismissed.
That the answering respondent/ LexLords Legal Services has not violated the order dated 24.12.2017 passed by this Hon’ble High Court in any manner. Still the LexLords Legal Services submits himself to the jurisdiction of the Hon’ble Court that in case any act or omission on the part of the LexLords Legal Services is ultimately found, then in that eventuality the LexLords Legal Services tenders his unconditional apology and prays that contempt be kindly dismissed qua him.