The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday sentenced three IAS officers, including a special chief secretary, to one month in jail and also ordered them to pay a fine of Rs 2,000 each, holding them guilty of contempt of court.
Justice B Devanand passed the order against Special Chief Secretary (Agriculture) Poonam Malkondaiah, then Special Agriculture Commissioner H Arun Kumar and then Kurnool District Collector G Veerapandian for “violating court orders” and in giving effect to its orders. failed. within a specified time.
The judge had in October 2019 directed the government officials to consider the candidature of a petitioner for the post of Village Agriculture Assistant (Grade-II) and pass appropriate orders within two weeks.
The petitioner had filed a contempt case against the authorities concerned for failing to implement the order of the High Court.
It was only after the contempt petition was filed in November 2020 that the government authorities declared the petitioner “ineligible for the post of Village Agriculture Assistant (Grade-II)” (in December 2020).
Referring to the submissions made by the defendants in the contempt case, the judge remarked that they “contemplated the orders passed by this Court on October 22, 2019”.
He said the authorities had failed to implement the court order in the true sense.
When the counsel for the defendants asked the court to refrain from imposing any punishment on senior government officials, Justice Devanand said, “I must express my inability to disagree”.
The judge said, “It is up to the respondents, especially those holding senior positions in the government, to ensure that the orders of this court are complied with expeditiously and within the stipulated time for its compliance. “
He said that the authorities did not make any effort to extend the time to comply with the orders. In such a situation, the judge convicted him of contempt and sentenced him.
However, at the request of Arun Kumar and Veerapandian, the judge suspended the sentence for six weeks.
Justice Devanand directed Poonam Malkondaiah to surrender before the Registrar (Judicial) of the High Court on or before May 13.
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