HC suspends jail sentence of IAS officers in contempt case

No wilful disobedience on the part of the officials, feels court

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday suspended the order of a single Judge dated September 2 wherein three IAS officers, including one retired official, were sentenced to jail and another two others were directed to pay fine in a contempt case.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice N. Jayasurya admitted their contempt appeals and placed the single Judge’s order under suspension upon reaching a conclusion that there was no wilful disobedience on the part of the officials.

IAS officers Manmohan Singh (retired) and S.S. Rawat were given a jail term of four weeks each, and Revu Mutyala Raju two weeks, while a fine of ₹2,000 each was imposed on K.V.N. Chakradhar Babu and M.V. Seshagiri Babu.

Mr. Manmohan Singh was Principal Secretary (Revenue) at that time. Mr. Rawat was Principal Secretary (Finance) and he is still in that post. Mr. Mutyala Raju was Collector of Nellore district and is now Additional Secretary to the Chief Minister. Mr. Seshagiri Babu was Collector and is now Inspector-General of Registration and Stamps). Mr. Chakradhar Babu had also worked as Collector.

The order was to pay compensation to the petitioner T. Savitramma for acquiring her three-acre D-form patta land in Yerragunta village in Venkatachalam Mandal for the establishment of a regional centre of the National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped.

She had disputed the manner in which the land was resumed for the above project and alleged that there was an inordinate delay in the payment of compensation.

Appearing for the State during Thursday’s hearing, special government pleader C. Sumon said there was no deliberate violation of the said order and all efforts were made to implement it but timely compliance was not possible owing to certain administrative difficulties. He insisted that the officers were diligent in their communications and were following up the matter.

Source: Read Full Article