Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday sentenced two senior government officers for imprisonment till rising of the court and imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 each for contempt of court.
A single judge bench of Justice Battu Devanand observed that panchayat raj and rural development commissioner M. Girija Sankar and horticulture former commissioner Chiranjeevi Chowdhary proceeded with the selection process of village horticulture officers in a manner that was contrary to the order of the court and were liable for punishment under provisions of Contempt of Court Act, 1971.
The court observed that it took nine months for the officials to comply with its order. The court noticed that the respondents made every attempt to defeat the order of the court intentionally and deliberately without complying with it in true spirit and observed that under such circumstance, the apology tendered by the respondents was not acceptable and it was not bonafide.
The court observed that if any lenient view was taken against such type of officers, it would send a wrong message and allowed the contempt case and both the respondents were sentenced to undergo simple imprisonment for nine days each and to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 each and in case of default, they shall undergo imprisonment for three days each.
When the respondents prayed the court to pardon them considering their age and the service they rendered and also given assurance to be more careful in future in implementing the court orders, the court observed that it was not desirable to send them to the jail in the present situation of Covid-19 pandemic and modified the sentence on humanitarian grounds. Accordingly, they were sentenced to imprisonment till rising of the court which means they were detained to sit in the court until court proceedings concluded for the day and imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 each and on default, it imposed simple imprisonment for three days.