The Calcutta High Court on Friday issued a rule of contempt against the West Bengal Chief Secretary and the Principal Secretaries of Finance and Transport departments to show cause why they should not be committed to prison or otherwise penalised for willfully violating its order.

The High Court had on September 13, 2021, passed an order relating to a prayer by 60 retired employees for a pension scheme in the South Bengal State Transport Corporation (SBSTC).

On a contempt application filed by the petitioners, Justice Arindam Mukherjee on Friday directed Chief Secretary H K Dwivedi, Finance Secretary Manoj Pant and Transport Secretary Rajesh Sinha "to show cause as to why they should not be committed to prison or otherwise penalised or dealt with for having wilfully and deliberately violated the order dated September 13, 2021."

The court directed that the rule is made returnable on May 20.

"On the returnable date, it is ordered the said alleged contemnors/respondents no. 1, 2 and 3 as aforesaid shall appear personally before this court at 10.30 am and shall not leave court without permission," Justice Mukherjee directed.

Sixty retired employees of SBSTC had filed a writ petition praying for implementation of a pension scheme at par with other state transport undertakings.

The petitioners stated that the board of SBSTC in its meeting held on February 15, 2018, had resolved that a pension scheme be introduced in SBSTC at par with other state transport undertakings.

It was submitted by the petitioners that the issue of implementation of the pension scheme in SBSTC is pending consideration by the Government of West Bengal since August 2019.

The Court had directed the chief secretary and the principal secretaries of the Finance and Transport departments to pass a reasoned order on the petitioners' prayer after considering all aspects of the matter within four months from the date of communication of the order.

Claiming that eight months have passed since the high court passed the order but there has been no decision on their prayer, the petitioners moved the contempt petition.

Click here to read/download order