The Bilaspur High Court Monday held three IAS officers,associated with the Raipur Development Authority,guilty of contempt of court for not providing adequate compensation to the petitioners.
The officers include RDA CEO Alex Paul Menon,who was abducted by Maoists last year as Sukma collector,and former CEOs MD Deewan and Ashok Agarwal. Deewan retired in February,while Agarwal is the collector of Rajnandgaon.
The court is yet to decide the quantum of punishment. Justice Prashant Mishra asked the officers to submit a proposal for settlement of dispute. If the court is satisfied with the proposal,the contempt charge will be dropped,else the punishment will be pronounced on July 31. The three officers were in the court on Tuesday when the judge told them,You are lying to the court. I will ask my guard to take you to prison.
Justice Mishra,incidentally,was the states Attorney General before becoming a HC judge. He has represented RDA as a counsel before court.
The petitioners in the case had approached the Jabalpur HC of then undivided MP in 1985 when they did not receive alternative plots besides the price for their land as promised under an agreement with the RDA. In 1992,the RDA allotted them land with an agreement that they would withdraw the case. The case was not withdrawn and the HC gave its decision in 2008 asking the authority to award compensation.