HC declines Telangana CS Somesh plea to use funds

The court made it clear that unless an addendum was issued to the GO 208, it could not allow to utilise the funds

HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court on Wednesday rejected the plea of state chief secretary Somesh Kumar requesting it to reconsider its orders issued on July 4, stopping him from utilising funds sanctioned under the controversial GO issued by himself to deal with contempt of court cases filed against bureaucrats.

The GO was issued to sanction Rs 59.95 crore for the purpose of legal expenses to deal with the contempt cases filed against Somesh Kumar and other officials. The court made it clear that unless an addendum was issued to the GO 208, it could not allow to utilise the funds.

Advocate general B.S. Prasad submitted to the court that the content in the GO was mistakenly shown as amount to tackle legal expenses, whereas it was actually meant to settle disputes pending in Gadwal district. He requested the court to allow withdrawal of funds as it was causing delay in settling the disputes.

However, the division bench comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy, declined to consider the request of the advocate general.

The bench observed, “The tone and tenor of the GO refers to only legal expenses to deal with contempt cases, but what you are explaining is different. It is totally misleading.”

Justice Vijaysen Reddy questioned why the government was not giving clarification by issuing corrections if the funds sanctioned through the GO were not meant for legal expenses. The Judge made it clear the G.O needed to corrigendum.

Justice Kohli sought to know from the chief secretary why there was a delay in issuing an addendum to the GO 208. She asked the advocate general what were the concerned persons doing without going for rectification, when a petition was filed and copies of the petition were served on them 20 days ago, challenging the substance of the GO and release of funds.

“Your department could have filed an affidavit before the court within four or five hours after it had stopped utilising the funds. Now you can issue an addendum within two minutes,” the Chief Justice sarcastically commented. The court further made it clear that unless the clarification was given and addendum issued, there was no way of reversing the orders.

Giving 24 hours’ time to do it, the court adjourned the case to August 13.

Next Story