HYDERABAD: Chief secretary Somesh Kumar sanctioned and allotted a sum of Rs 60 crore from the state exchequer to enable state bureaucrats fight contempt cases in Telangana High Court.
This fund is meant to exclusively fight contempt cases filed predominantly against the chief commissioner of land administration (CCLA), a post which Mr Somesh Kumar has been holding for several years, and continues to manage even after taking over the state officialdom as the chief secretary.
Somesh Kumar, in his capacity as chief secretary, issued orders directing the CCLA to draw Rs 58.95 crore towards pending contempt cases in the High Court. The fund was made available for this cause in relaxation of treasury control and quarterly regulation orders.
Inquiries by this newspaper revealed that Kumar leads the list of bureaucrats facing contempt cases. Within five months of this year, as many as 38 contempt cases were filed against him.
Earlier, contempt cases were filed against him in matters relating to his tenure at the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) also. “Nearly 250 contempt cases were pending against the chief secretary,” sources said.
The Telangana High Court has started taking a very serious view for "wilful disobedience" of bureaucrats and started clamping fines against a few collectors. In some cases, the court even pronounced a sentence of imprisonment, which was subsequently halted by the division bench. The court also asked the contemnors to render social service as punishment.
While it not commonplace for any government to provide special funding to officials to fight legal battles for decisions and actions taken during the course of their work, but once the court described seriously pursuing contempt was to make bureaucrats pay for "wilful disobedience, recklessness and casualness", it was left with no option.