VIJAYAWADA: Clarifying that the government shouldn’t spend from the State exchequer for officers convicted in contempt cases, a division bench of Hyderabad High Court on Friday said it wasn’t proper for the State advocate general to appear on behalf of such officers.
The bench suggested the AG not to appear on behalf of such officers before the court and that the officers should bear the expenses once the notices were issued in the contempt cases relating to non-implementation of court orders.
“The AG should assist the court in contempt cases and his appearance on behalf of the convicted officers is in violation of rules,” the bench ruled, suggesting special counsel of AP Ramesh to study the norms made under the Contempt of Court Act. The bench of Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan and Justice SV Bhatt was hearing the appeal filed by AK Reddy, sub-registrar of Nallapadu village in Guntur district against a single judge’s order sentencing him to 6-months imprisonment (civil) and fined him `2,000 in a contempt case.
He was also directed to pay `one lakh towards expenses of the petitioner, Bajrang Jute Mills Private Limited, Kolkata. In 2015, the company had approached the HC when the registration authorities did not release the document presented by it for registration. The document was stated to be a development agreement cum general power of attorney (GPA). On June 12, 2015, Justice Sanjay Kumar directed the sub-registrar to release the said document inspecting the premises, assessing the stamp duty payable and other registration formalities. The judge made it clear the said process should be completed within two weeks.
When this order wasn’t implemented, the firm filed the contempt case. On September 14, the single judge sentenced the officer to imprisonment and also imposed a fine. The judge suspended implementation of the order for three weeks to facilitate filing an appeal by the contemnor. The bench has posted the matter to Monday for further hearing.