On Thursday, the Andhra Pradesh High Court sentenced to jail four serving and one retired IAS officers. The court accused the officers of willful disobedience of the court’s order from February 10, 2017.
The officers included Principal Finance Secretary Shamsher Singh Rawat, Chief Minister’s Additional Secretary Revu Mutyala Raju, SPS Nellore district Collector K V N Chakradhara Babu, and former Collector M V Seshagiri Babu.
The Andhra Pradesh court has also imposed a fine of Rs. 1000 on every officer.
Justice Battu Devanand gave the decision over a contempt petition filed by agriculturist Tallapaka Savitramma. Savitramma belonged to the SPS Nellore district.
According to the petition, Savitramma claimed that her land measuring three acres was allotted to the National Institute of Mental Health without any prior notice or payment of compensation.
She further said that authorities promised the amount of compensation in 2016. And while the authorities failed to do so, she also reported the case to Lokayukta.
On February 10, 2017, Justice A Rajasheker Reddy passed a judgment. Which ordered that the authorities have to pay the compensation within 3 months of the date.
And reportedly, the authorities failed to do so.
As per the case, the revenue divisional officer had submitted bills to the accounts office on July 6, 2020, but they were not cleared till March 30, 2021.
“In the opinion of this court, nearly eight months delay occurred in the office of the Principal Accounts Officer in clearing the bills and making payment of compensation to the petitioner,” said Justice Devanand on a hearing in July this year.
Moreover, Justice Devanand has also ordered the suspension of the sentence for a month. This will allow the accused to go for an appeal. As suggested by the petitioner’s lawyer C Vani Reddy.