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Guj HC summons Bimal Patel, registrar for potential contempt of prior orders, rages: ‘No one is above law’

Patel certainly not above the law reminds Guj HC, yet again
Patel certainly not above the law reminds Guj HC, yet again

GNLU Gandhinagar director Bimal Patel has been asked to appear in person before the Gujarat high court at 11am tomorrow, due to his failure to comply with the high court's orders.

Gujarat HC justices Anant S Dave and Biren Vaishnav wrote in their 19 February order: "No one is above law, howsoever high he or she may be.”

The high court which, in three separate orders since April 2017, has directed Patel and GNLU to allow the law school's accounts officer to continue in his post, said:

In continuous defiance of two orders passed by a Division Bench of this Court dated 25.01.2018 and 05.02.2018, the respondent has committed breach of the orders and particularly that of second order, whereby, the Director, G.N.L.U was directed to continue respondent / original petitioner in service based on appointment letter dated 31.12.2013 and to be paid all the emoluments as stated in column No.2 therein till further order and no disciplinary action was to be taken till the next date of hearing namely 07.03.2018.

The court had on 25 January 2018 asked Patel to consider the offer of the accounts officer to withdraw the litigation entirely if Patel were to clear all his dues including benefits up to January 2017. The high court had given Patel time until 30 January to take a decision. But on 30 January Patel submitted to the court that till the time GNLU's executive council does not convene a meeting to consider the accounts officer's offer, his dues only until 31 December 2016 can be cleared.

Therefore, on 5 February the high court ordered:

Prima facie, it appears that the order dated 25.1.2018 passed by this Court is not taken in its true spirit by the Director, GNLU, and therefore, the appellant-GNLU is directed to continue the respondent herein-original petitioner in service based on the appointment letter dated 31.12.2013 and shall be paid all emoluments stated in column no.2 therein till further order, without taking any disciplinary action. The matter is adjourned to 7th March 2018.

But even after this second order warning Patel about his non-compliance, Patel asked the officer to proceed on immediate leave with full pay. This action of Patel led the high court to pass the 19 February order giving him time until tomorrow to comply with its orders, failing which Patel would have to appear in person before the court along with GNLU's registrar.

It is not the first time that the Gujarat high court has reprimanded Patel for behaving as if he was above the law. A series of strongly worded orders condemning Patel's conduct on various legal and human rights related issues in running the GNLU administration, have been passed by the high court for the last two years.

We have reached out to Patel for comment.

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