HC stops TS govt. from releasing Rs. 58 cr to help bureaucrats fight contempt cases

A Division Bench of Telangana High Court on Wednesday prevented the state government from releasing money under GO RT 208 dated 7 June that had allocated Rs. 58.95 crore to enable bureaucrats to fight contempt cases in the court.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  4 Aug 2021 12:15 PM GMT
HC stops TS govt. from releasing Rs. 58 cr to help bureaucrats fight contempt cases

Hyderabad: A Division Bench of Telangana High Court on Wednesday prevented the state government from releasing money under GO RT No. 208 dated 7 June, 2021 through which chief secretary Somesh Kumar had allocated Rs. 58.95 crore to enable bureaucrats to fight contempt cases in the court.

Prabhakar Chouti, who is a lecturer, has filed a Public Interest Litigation before the Telangana High Court through his lawyer Mayur Mundra, challenging GO RT No. 208.

The Bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Vijaysen Reddy after hearing the arguments of the lawyer for the petitioner, Mayur Mundra, had directed state of Telangana, represented by Principal Secretary, Revenue Department, Principal Secretary, Finance Department to not to release any money pursuant to GO RT No 208. The High Court has directed the state of Telangana to file a counter affidavit and posted the matter in October 2021.

State chief secretary Somesh Kumar in his June 7 order had ordered the finance department to release Rs. 58.95 crore to the chief commissioner of land administration to fight contempt cases in the court.

The fund is meant to exclusively fight contempt cases filed predominantly against the chief commissioner of land administration, a post which Mr. Kumar has been holding for several years and continues to manage even after taking over the state officialdom as the chief secretary.

Mr. Kumar, in his capacity as chief secretary, had issued orders directing the CCLA to draw Rs. 58.95 crore towards pending contempt cases in the High Court. The fund was made available for this cause in relaxation of treasury control and quarterly regulation orders.

As per news reports, around 38 contempt cases have been filed against the chief secretary. In recent days, the Telangana High Court is taking the contempt cases of bureaucrats seriously and imposing monetary fines as well as jail terms to them.

On Friday, Justice T. Amarnath Goud of the Telangana High Court had awarded six-month simple imprisonment to two IAS officers, two IFS officers, and two other officers in contempt of court case.

The judge held them guilty of not complying with the order of the High Court order passed in 2009. The judge also imposed a fine of Rs. 2,000 against each official. The officers who were awarded jail term and fine included D. Amoy Kumar, Ranga Reddy collector; A. Santha Kumari, special chief secretary of environmental forest sciences and technology; R. Shobha and Sunitha M. Bhagwat, principal chief conservators of forests; Janaki Ram, divisional forest officer; and S. Tirupathi Rao, additional collector and forest settlement officer.

Inputs from Karam Komireddy

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