HC fumes at officials for failure to implement direction

Court was hearing a suo-motu contempt plea; It directed govt not to construct village secretariats, other buildings on school premises 
Andhra Pradesh High Court
Andhra Pradesh High Court

VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Monday expressed its ire over the officials not heeding its directions asking the government not to construct village secretariats and other official buildings on the premises of government schools. Hearing a suo-motu contempt petition against the officials of the School Education department, Panchayat Raj department and Municipal Administration department, Justice Battu Devanand questioned the officials as to why they failed to issue orders to their subordinates not to take up such constructions. 

Following the court directions, principal secretary (panchayat raj) Gopalkrishna Dwivedi, commissioner (panchayat raj) Girija Shankar, principal secretary (school education) Rajasekhar, commissioner Chinna Veerabhadrudu, principal secretary (municipal administration) Y Srilakshmi, former director Vijaya Kumar, present director M Naik appeared in person before the judge. 

Justice Devanand told them that if the officials correct their mistakes and issue orders, the contempt petition against them will be withdrawn. However, with no response from them, the judge observed that sincerity in protecting the government schools appeared to be lacking. He questioned if they were aware that it is the poor who study in the government schools and asked if the government itself violates rules, who will those children and their parents will approach. 

The judge observed that it appears that most of the IAS officers are of the opinion that it was not necessary to implement the court’s directions. Advocate General S Sriram and senior government pleader Chintala Suman requested the court for time to file counters. The case hearing was adjourned to August 31 and all the eight IAS officials were asked to appear in person in the court on that day.

Fund diversion
The State government on Monday submitted to the High Court that funds diverted to the APSDC from consolidated funds only.  Appearing for the state government, Supreme Court senior advocate Dushyant Dave informed the court that all the doubts of the petitioner were clarified by the government. He said pendency in the case is creating problems, hence the Court is requested to dispose of the case at the earliest.

Orders Reserved On Plea Against Sec Appointment  
The AP High Court on Monday reserved the verdict on the petition filed challenging the appointment of retired IAS officer Nilam Sawhney as the State Election Commissioner. The arguments in the case concluded on Monday. Regu Maheswara Rao, an advocate from Vizianagaram, has filed a petition challenging the appointment of Nilam Sawhney as SEC, stating that it was against the Supreme Court orders. 

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