July 21, 2021 10:58:25 am
In an apparent bid to avoid contempt of court proceedings, a government official working in the Highways department on Tuesday volunteered to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation to a woman for demolishing a portion of her house by ‘mistake’.
Recording the offer of the official, a division bench of Justices M Duraiswamy and R Hemalatha posted the contempt petition to July 23 for filing an affidavit and also for payment of the amount by way of a Demand Draft drawn in favour of the house-owner by the official.
Kavitha of Singiripatti village in Salem district had moved the High Court, challenging the October 15, 2020 eviction notice.
By an order dated December 7 the same year, the court had given her liberty to submit a detailed representation to a junior engineer (Highways) in Mettur, by enclosing relevant and authenticated documents within 15 days from the date of receipt of the court order.
Upon receipt of the same, the JU shall consider it and pass appropriate orders on merits and in accordance with law and also in the light of the provisions of the Highways Act, within a further period of three weeks thereafter.
Till such time, the JU shall not take any action.
The court order was issued on January 6 and the petitioner received it on January 25.
The petitioner had time till February 20 to comply with the court orders.
However, Kothai, the Assistant Divisional Engineer (Highways), demolished the superstructure on December 30 itself.
Hence, the present contempt petition to punish Kothai.
When the matter came up on Tuesday, Kothai submitted she had demolished the superstructure on December 30 by ‘mistake.’ She also expressed her willingness to compensate the petitioner by paying Rs 50,000 within three days which the latter accepted.
Recording the same, the bench posted the matter to July 23.
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