Hill Fort restoration: HC summons chief secy Somesh Kumar to appear before court

On Friday, Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan directed the Telangana DGP to execute warrants against Aravind Kumar and arrest him but later, dropped the order at the request of Harender Pershad, the special government pleader.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  9 Dec 2022 9:50 AM GMT
Hill Fort restoration: HC summons chief secy Somesh Kumar to appear before court

Hyderabad: A Telangana High Court Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice C.V Bhaskar Reddy has summoned chief secretary Somesh Kumar and principal secretary of municipal administration Aravind Kumar to appear before the court on 23 December for failing to comply with the court's orders in connection with the restoration and conservation of the Hill Fort Palace.

On Friday, Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan directed the Telangana DGP to execute warrants against Aravind Kumar and arrest him but later, dropped the order at the request of Harender Pershad, the special government pleader.

Earlier, on 9 November, the following officers had appeared before the court: commissioner and secretary of the finance department, commissioner and secretary of the tourism department, the MD of Telangana State Travel and Tourism Development Corporation, GHMC commissioner, and the commissioner and vice-chairman of HMDA. The court had sought a report on the steps being taken by the Telangana government for the restoration and conservation of the Hill Fort Palace located at Naubat Pahad, Hyderabad.

On 9 November, Mr. Arvind Kumar had failed to appear before the CJ court stating that he had to attend a marriage in his family. On Friday, too, he didn't appear before the court citing the Chief Minister's programme. He did not file any affidavit seeking exemption from appearing before the court, which irked the court and resulted in the order against Mr. Arvind Kumar and the chief secretary.

Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan while issuing the order said the officials have no regard for court orders and the orders are not implemented.

What is the Hill Fort PIL about?

The Division Bench was adjudicating the Public Interest Litigation filed by Hyderabad Heritage Trust seeking a direction to the Telangana government to take up restoration and conservation of the heritage structure Hill Fort.

The plea of the petitioner is that the state government is not taking up the restoration work of the Hill Fort Palace nor is it permitting the petitioner to take up such work and in the interregnum, Hill Fort, which is a heritage structure, is damaged.

During the earlier hearings, the court expressed concern and dissatisfaction over the lackadaisical attitude of officials in taking up the restoration work. CJ Bhuyan said that for the last two and a half years, the state has not done even the ground work.

Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan, during earlier hearings, asked officials to inform the court as to when they will commence the actual work and furnish a timeline.

On the last date of hearing, despite the assurance of Advocate General Banda Shivananda Prasad, the orders of the High Court were not complied with.

Though, an amount of Rs. 50 lakhs was sanctioned by the Telangana government on the requisition of the tourism department for the conservation and restoration of Hill Fort, the finance department didn't give clearance for the release of the amount.

CJ Bhuyan had even summoned finance secretary Ramakrishna Rao to court on this issue.

The matter has been adjourned to 23 December.

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