Official’s excuse for not attending court in Andhra Pradesh exposed
Deeming the action of Rao as contempt of the court, the judge directed the court registry to suo motu register a contempt of court against him.
Published: 07th January 2023 10:40 AM | Last Updated: 07th January 2023 10:40 AM | A+A A-
VIJAYAWADA: An interesting development took place in the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday during the hearing of a case against the energy department. APSPDCL CMD Santhosh Rao’s ‘excuse’ of being bedridden with ill-health for not being able to appear before the court in person was exposed by Justice B Devanand. The judge asked Special Chief Secretary (Energy) K Vijayanand to call up Rao from his mobile phone and switch on the speaker to know where he was he on Thursday.
In response, Vijayanand informed the court that Rao attended a review meeting with him at Eluru on Thursday. “For not attending the court in person, officials are not hesitating to go to any length and utter any lie,” Justice Devanand observed.
Deeming the action of Rao as contempt of the court, the judge directed the court registry to suo motu register a contempt of court against him. The case hearing was posted to January 20. Hearing a case against APCPDCL executive engineer Syed Abdul Karim for making derogatory comments against the court, Justice Devanand directed the court registry to suo motu register a contempt of court against him. Directing the officials to file an affidavit with complete details, he posted the case hearing to February 1.
The energy secretary informed the court that a departmental inquiry will be conducted against Karim. He further assured the court that henceforth all the staff will be directed to strictly implement the court orders.
He also informed that power supply has been restored to VL Ganapathi Granites. CPDCL CMD Padma Janardhan and CPDCL Ongole SE KVG Satyanarayana also assured the court that they will ensure that court orders are followed. The court exempted all three officials and two lower-rung staff from appearing before the court in person during further hearings. However, it refused to exempt Karim.
When the petitioner’s counsel Sivaramakrishna Reddy informed the court that only after the appeal against the single judge’s orders were dismissed by the division bench, the power supply was restored to the company, the judge told the energy secretary to show them how the court orders are being ‘implemented’ he had summoned them.
When the judge asked the energy secretary if he wants to hear the comments made by Karim against the court, Karim apologised by stating that he was wrong. Immediately, the judge asked what action will be taken against Karim now. The energy secretary replied stern action will be taken after going through the records. Justice Devanand asked the energy secretary where is a need for checking records when Karim openly admitted to have done wrong in the court itself, to which Vijayanand assured the court that departmental action will be taken against the erring official.
COURT ORDER TO APCPDCL NOT IMPLEMENTED
The present case was about APCPDCL action against a granite company for failing to clear the power dues. The power supply was disconnected to VS Ganapathi Granites of Chimakurthi for its failure to clear the dues. The company approached the High Court. Hearing the petition, Justice B Devanand issued interim orders to the APCPDCL to restore power supply to the company. When the petition came up for hearing again on January 3, the petitioners’ counsel informed the court that CPDCL officials did not implement the orders.