Madras HC – IAS Officer primarily gets punished with Imprisonment and secondly Fine for Contempt

A petition was filed seeking to direct revenue divisional officer of Tenkasi district to dispose the petitioner’s appeal under the Patta Passbook Act, for correction of patta entries which was wrongly issued on other person’s name without any documents, in connection to a property which he purchased.

On October 12, 2020, the Single Bench of Madras High Court passed an order stating that the IAS officer should be punished primarily with imprisonment and the imposition of fine for Contempt should be secondary, if the authorities denied working according to the order stated.

A single bench of Justice Vaidyanathan has noted that, lately, several cases was filed before the court with a prayer of disposal of applications filed under Sections 10-13 of the said Act. If the said applications are disposed of by the concerned authorities on time, then the parties need not unnecessarily approach this court for such specific directions.

Further, the bench has also clearly stated that if such authorities have failed to dispose the said applications within time limit stated supra, then the authorities under the Act will have to face departmental proceedings for their misdemeanour/deviant/misconduct/dereliction of duty/ lack of devotion to work and lack of integrity so as to drive their entire terminal benefits.

Adding the outcome of departmental proceedings which must be entered into the service register of the authorities. The Court held that, “this will be an eye opener for others who will not follow the errand officials”.

While disposing of the Petition, the Madras High Court has warned bureaucrats by saying, “If the authorities is an IAS officer under the relevant provisions of the act and he/she has Disobeyed the order of the court, they should be punished with imprisonment, and the imposition of fine under the contempt of courts act will be secondary, and the imprisonment should be primary……… “

T. Madiha T. Madiha
I am T. Madiha, a final year student of BA.LL.B from Osmania University, Hyderabad. I'm spontaneous, attentive, and a good observer. I always would like to express my prior concern in research & writing skills as it enhance me to grow for the future endeavours in the legal field. I strongly believe in Theodore Roosevelt quote by focusing on my actions rather than words as he once said - "Do what you can with all you have, wherever you are". I have sole interests on various spheres of law and wants to change the societal issues for better world. I love to live in a dynamic environment where people help others to develop their skills, my suggestions have actively been taken up in the same.