Telangana HC jails Siricilla collector, 2 officials for contempt of court
Telangana: Terming the State government’s plea, which claimed that rehabilitation and resettlement amounts were paid to a group of petitioners for their agricultural lands, as ‘false’, the Telangana High Court sentenced Rajanna-Sircilla District Collector D Krishna Bhaskar, Joint Collector Yasmin Basha, and land acquisition officer-cum-revenue divisional officer N Srinivasa Rao to three months’ imprisonment in a contempt case.
The court ordered that an adverse entry should be recorded in the service records of the said officials with regard to their willful disobedience of the court orders.
Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao of the Telangana High Court on Tuesday sentenced Rajanna Siricilla district collector D. Krishna Bhaskar, joint collector Yasmin Basha and land acquisition officer N. Srinivasa Rao, the revenue divisional officer, to three months simple imprisonment and a fine of Rs 2,000 for disobeying court orders.
The order was passed on a contempt case that was filed by 11 landowners from Anantagiri village of Siricilla district, whose land was submerged by a reservoir of the Kaleshwaram project.
Earlier, the court had issued interim orders to the collector and others to not carry out any construction work that could affect the petitioners’ land unless the landowners were paid compensation. Compensation should be paid as per the rules of land acquisition and benefits under the rehabilitation and resettlement policy, the court had ordered.
But, the construction work went on despite court orders, and the petitioners’ lands were submerged. No compensation was given to the petitioners. Following this, a contempt case was filed, based on which Justice Ramachandra Rao sentenced the officers and directed them to pay Rs 10,000 to each petitioner within four weeks.
On October 12, 2018, the court had directed the authorities concerned to restrain from taking possession of the subject lands of the petitioners in Ananthagiri village and not to take up any further construction works in their lands till further orders of the court. When these orders were not complied with, the petitioners filed the present contempt case. After hearing the case and perusing the material on record, Justice Ramachandra Rao suspended the sentence of imprisonment imposed on the said officials for six weeks to facilitate them to file an appeal in a higher court.