Case Title: B Surendra vs Dwaraka Tiruala Rao
A single bench of Justice K Manmadha Rao of Andhra Pradesh High Court held two IAS officers (Indian Administrative Services) and three government officials guilty for disobeying a court’s order and sentenced them to one month of imprisonment for contempt of court.
“Not only have the contemnors unreasonably delayed and defaulted in compliance of the orders of this Court without explaining the cause for such default, or seeking extension of time for compliance; but they have also sought to avoid compliance of the order, even after taking benefit of the extended time period granted for compliance of the same”.
The advocate for the respondents submitted that they have filed an appeal against the order which was pending and thus in view of this, they had not complied with the order.
The bench in its order recorded that two months period was expired to file an appeal by the respondent “In fact the Writ Appeal has been filed in the month of November 2022. Further two months period was to expire on 01.10.2022 as contended by the respondents. This Contempt Case was filed in the month of November 2022. Which shows that the respondents deliberately dodging the matter without compliance of the orders of this Court even after expiry of two months”.
Justice said that “I must express my inability to agree. It is incumbent upon the respondents, more particularly, those who are holding senior position in Government, to ensure that the Orders of this Court are complied with promptitude, and within the time stipulated for its compliance. Any difficulty which they may have in complying with the order of this Court would require them to invoke this Court jurisdiction seeking extension of time to comply with the orders. Admittedly, in the present case, no such efforts were made by the respondents, except representing that the writ appeal is pending since six months”.
While held the officers guilty, justice in its order stated that “This Court of the firm view that even though the respondents have taken so many adjournments for complying with the order of this Court, they have not complied with the same so far. It clearly shows that the respondents have willfully disobeyed the order passed by this Court and thereby the respondents are guilty of contempt and have rendered themselves liable for suitable punishment under the provisions of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.