Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Wednesday sentenced former special deputy collector-cum-revenue divisional officer (RDO) Jayachandra Reddy to two months imprisonment in two contempt cases filed by tenant farmers and agriculture labourers of Mallanna Sagar project. Besides, the High Court has also imposed a fine of Rs 2,000 on the RDO and asked him to pay the same within four weeks.
The court has also imposed a fine of Rs 2,000 on Siddipet district collector P. Venkatrami Reddy and Rajanna Siricilla district collector Krishna Bhaskar in the same cases. The court has asked the two district collectors to pay the fine within four weeks, adding they would get one-month imprisonment if they failed to pay the amount.
A single judge Bench headed by Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao was dealing with the contempt petitions. The petitions were filed by Laxmi and Madduri Rami Reddy and 10 other residents of Vemulaghat village from the Thogutta mandal of erstwhile Medak district. The High Court has also asked the state government to record adverse entry in the service records of the two district collectors and convict RDO Jayachandra Reddy for willful disobedience of the court’s orders.
The HC, however, suspended the sentence of the RDO for four weeks. It has asked the three officials to pay Rs. 2,000 as cost to each of the 12 petitioners in the two cases. The court also set aside the award passed earlier by the officials concerned. It directed the authorities concerned to initiate fresh proceedings and pay all benefits under the Land Acquisition Act, 2013 within six months from the date of the receipt of the order.
In its verdict the court has expressed its displeasure for willful disobedience of its orders. In its earlier orders pronounced in the writ petitions filed by the petitioners, the HC had asked the state government to furnish the DPR to the petitioners and keep available 15 Telugu translations of the copies of the DPR for perusal of the petitioners for a period of three weeks. It has also asked the petitioners to submit their fresh objections. However, the officials did not obey the orders of the court prompting the petitioners to file the contempt of court petitions.