April 8, 2011 5:44:47 pm
The Andhra Pradesh High Court today sentenced two senior IAS officers to 15 days imprisonment and also imposed a fine of Rs 2,000 each in a contempt of court case.
A division bench of the High Court comprising Justices Goda Raghuram and Ramesh Ranganathan delivered the verdict today but kept the sentence suspended for a month to enable the officers file an appeal.
While Nalgonda district Collector has been found not guilty of contempt of court,a municipal official who previously worked as Nalgonda Commissioner was also sentenced to 15 days in jail.
The High Court found Principal Secretary-rank officer Pushpa Subrahmanyam (1985 batch),Commissioner and Director of Municipal Administration Premchand (1984 batch) and the then Municipal Commissioner of Nalgonda Venkateswarlu guilty of contempt of court in a case related to extension of lease to a cinema theatre in Nalgonda town.
Though Nalgonda district Collector Syed Ali Murtaza Rizvi was also a respondent in the case,the court found him not guilty of contempt.
The division bench of the High Court concluded the hearing into the contempt case,filed by Nalgonda municipal councillor B Krishna Reddy,last week and reserved the judgement for today.
The High Court had passed an order in August 2009,based on the original petition of Krishna Reddy,that the municipal authorities had no right to extend lease of land for cinema hall without conducting a public auction.
However,the Municipal Administration Department issued a “special” order ‘staying’ the High Court order,allegedly at the behest of a state minister hailing from Nalgonda district.
Following this,a contempt petition was filed in the High Court. Pushpa Subrahmanyam told the court that she owned up responsibility for the order.
The bench expressed its dissatisfaction over the way the officials had conducted themselves in the case. “Imagine if there were no courts in the country. One billion people would revolt and throw both the legislature and the executive into the Bay of Bengal,” the bench had observed.
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