Madras HC: Get receipt of written instructions from officials

The district collector to be nominated by the chief secretary, in turn was directed to issue notice to all parties.

Madras HC: Get receipt of written instructions from officials

Madras high court

Chennai: The Madras high court has said before making a statement before courts, government pleader, special government pleaders, additional government pleaders and government advocates, representing the government must ensure the receipt of written instructions from department officials in person or through e-mail, so that they will not be taken to task by courts for paradoxical statement made by them and they should not put the law courts in a quandary/piquant situation.

Pointing out that this contempt petition has arisen on account of an incorrect statement made by special government pleader A.N.Thambidurai before this court on March 1, 2018, a division bench comprising Justices M.Venugopal and S.Vaidyanathan made the above observation while passing orders on a contempt petition filed by one P.Loganathan, which sought to punish the Namakkal district collector and five others for making false statements before the court on March 1, 2018.

The bench said when the matter was taken up for hearing, it was represented by the government advocate that pursuant to the order of this court dated February 27, 2019, the Namakkal district collector has withdrawn her controversial order dated February 21, 2019 (stating that pursuant to the pendency of application filed by several encroachers for patta and regularization, there is no need to remove those encroachers) by way of issuing another proceedings dated March 1, 2019. In the said proceedings, the collector has stated that the encroachers of land and the complainant would be afforded an opportunity of hearing before passing further orders, as the appeal was pending before the collector. In addition to the above, the collector has also filed a counter affidavit, inter alia tendering her unconditional apology for her mistake, which according to her, had happened due to communication gap, the bench added.

The bench said, “In view of the above submission and taking note of her unconditional apology, this court is of the earnest opinion that the grievance of the petitioner is redressed, as he would be given an opportunity of hearing by the district collector before passing an order in the appeal and no purpose would be served in keeping this petition pending. Hence, this contempt petition is closed”.

Since the district collector, M.Asia Mariam, IAS, had already expressed her predetermined mind in the matter, the chief secretary to the government was directed to nominate one of the district collectors of Salem, Coimbatore and Erode in order to take up the appeal filed by the parties (to secure the ends of justice). The district collector to be nominated by the chief secretary, in turn was directed to issue notice to all parties, including the petitioner, peruse both oral and documentary evidence adduced by the parties and pass suitable orders thereon, after providing an opportunity of hearing to all, the bench added.


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