HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court quashed a single judge order which had sentenced six officials to six-month simple imprisonment and imposing a fine of Rs 2,000 on each of them in contempt of court petition. Allowing the appeal petitions, a bench comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy said the contempt petition was barred by limitation. The bench, however, gave liberty to the respondents to seek appropriate legal recourse if they were aggrieved by the orders issued in 2010.
The six officials, including two IAS officers and two IFS officers, filed the appeal petitions challenging the single judge order passed in the contempt plea. The division bench headed by the Chief Justice observed, “We are of the opinion that the contempt petition having been filed highly belated by the respondents, was not maintainable in the light of the limitation prescribed under Section 20 of the Contempt of Courts Act.”
The matter pertains to a writ petition filed by Mohd Sirajuddin and nine others claiming rights over 383 acres of land in Maheshwaram village of Rangareddy district. In 2009, a single judge instructed the six officials to take a final call on the acquisition of the said land for conversion into Reserve Forest within six months. The petitioners filed a contempt of court petition stating that the authorities failed to comply with the single judge order.