VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday took serious exception to the failure of Poonam Malakondaiah, Special Chief Secretary to Chief Minister, to appear in person before it following summons in a contempt of court case.
At one point of time, the court was prepared to issue a non-bailable warrant against the senior IAS officer but was pacified by the repeated appeals of the government pleader, who informed the court that she could not attend the court in person due to emergency work in view of the Assembly session. He assured them that she would appear in person before the court for the next hearing of the case.
A division bench, comprising Justice M Ganga Rao and Justice D Venkataramana, considering the appeal of the government pleader, adjourned the case to March 31.T Sujatha, a junior assistant in the Government Dental College in Vijayawada, filed a petition in the court that she was not being paid a salary for some years. Hearing the petition, the court summoned the then Principal Secretary (Medical Education), Medical Education Director Babji and the dental college principal Murali Mohan to appear before it in person for the next hearing.
Out of the three, only Murali Mohan appeared in person before the court on Friday, while Poonam Malakondaiah and Babji, currently Vice-Chancellor of the Health University, failed to turn up.
The court asked why its order to pay the salary of the petitioner was not implemented. “Do you want the petitioner to beg you to pay salary? Without paying salary since 2018, how do you think she will live?” the court questioned the government pleader. The court said if needed the Principal Secretary (Finance) and the Accountant General would also be summoned in the case.