In a setback to the YCP government, the Andhra Pradesh High Court made serious comments against state government officials, former principal secretary panchayatraj department and agriculture department principal secretary Gopalkrishna Dwivedi and principal secretary of revenue department S.S. Rawat, when they attended the hearing in connection with the delay in payment of bill to a gravel supplier for laying a road under the NREGS.
It took exception to the negligence of the officers in implementing the court orders in the right spirit. “Court orders are being implemented only after the officials are summoned to give an explanation. If this is the procedure you follow, then the court will have to summon the officials in the first hearing itself,” it observed.
The court said that it was vexed seeing the same faces several times in their corridors and mentioned that the two officials appeared before the court in connection with nearly 70 contempt of court cases. The court also pointed out that it was only in Andhra Pradesh that such a huge number of contempt of court cases were getting registered when compared with others in the country. This is a proof of the lopsided functioning of the state government, the court said.
Does this mean you do not care about the court orders or do you think you are supreme powers, it asked.
In 2022, Kancharla Kasaiah, a native of Tadivaripalle in Tarlupadu mandal of Prakasam district filed a petition stating that the state government had not paid him for supplying gravel towards laying a road taken up under the NREGS. After hearing the case, the judge asked the officials to make the payment in 4 weeks. When the officials failed to implement the orders, a contempt of court petition was filed which came up for hearing recently. Following this, the court summoned both the officials and the officials appeared before the judge.
The judge reminded that the petitioner’s bills were uploaded on January 13 and the revenue department released the amount on January 23. This shows that there is no delay from the revenue department and hence, the contempt of court case against Rawat was dismissed.
When Dwivedi tried to explain that the delay in payment of the bill was due to lack of software, the judge asked, “Don’t you discuss about the cases that are coming up for hearing and the orders issued in connection with earlier cases by checking the AP Online Legal Case Monitoring System?”