8 AP IAS ordered to do community service

They officers were asked to send photographs of their visits to the hostel every month to the registrar (judicial) to keep a record

Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday directed eight IAS officers to spend some time with the residents of welfare hostels once every month for a year, and spend from their pockets to arrange for a sumptuous meal for the students.

The IAS officers include Gopal Krishna Dwivedi, M. Girija Shankar, B. Rajasekhar, V. Chinna Veera Bhadrudu, J. Shyamala Rao, Y. Sri Lakshmi, G. Vijay Kumar and M.M. Naik. They were asked to send photographs of their visits to the hostel every month to the registrar (judicial) to keep a record.

A single-judge bench of Justice Battu Devanand had earlier in the day sentenced the officers to undergo simple imprisonment for two weeks and pay Rs 1,000 each in a contempt of court case for not carrying out its orders. The officials tendered an unconditional apology to the court, which then gave them community service.

Justice Devanand was hearing a writ petition filed by the parents and students of Mandal Praja Parisahad Primary School at Thiruvolu of Chedikada mandal in Visakhapatnam district in 2020. The petitioners said that a village secretariat was being constructed on the school premises, which would spoil the atmosphere of the school.

The court in an interim order on June 11, 2020, directed the respondents not to undertake any activity on the matter. Subsequently, a few more petitions were filed alleging that the officials were taking up construction activity. The officials did not file their counter-affidavits even one year after the order was issued.

Then the court directed the registry to initiate contempt proceedings against the officers. The officers then filed affidavits with varied versions — some claiming that they had issued instructions stop construction all over the state and others mentioning jurisdictional issues.

The court noticed that particulars furnished by the departments of panchayat raj, municipal administration and school education on number of schools having such establishments on their premises did not tally. Justice Devanand opined that the order was not implemented in its true spirit as, by the officers’ own information, the school premises were vacated only in September 2021.

The court noticed wilful disobedience in implementing its order by the respondents and found them guilty of contempt of court and held them liable for punishment under provisions of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971.

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