CHENNAI: The Madras High Court said officials grossly disobeying orders of the court regarding enforcement of law in cases of violations of land development and building-construction rules must be jailed instead of punishment with fines.
A Division Bench of Justices S Vaidyanathan and Mohammed Shaffiq made the observations recently while hearing an appeal of the Greater Chennai Corporation challenging orders of a single judge who had ordered restoration of service benefits to an engineer.
“In case of non-compliance of the orders of this court, it is time and again made clear that fine will be secondary and the imprisonment will be primary,” the bench said. It also came down heavily on IAS officers dealing with appeals made under Section 80-A of Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, 1971. It is reported that several IAS officers dealing with such applications are not complying with the orders of the court, despite specific orders issued every now and then, the bench said.
“Such officers, who are least bothered about the orders of this court and are not doing their duty, must be shown the doors as ignoring the orders of this court would definitely amount to dishonesty in their duty, besides disobedience,” the bench stated.
The bench also wanted the State government use the vigilance department against those officials who mint money by utilising their position in dealing with appeals on violations. It is highly shameful that the officials dealing with 80-A applications are under the impression that the said post is for remunerative purpose. In order to curb accumulation of wealth by them, the government should press Vigilance Department into service to enquire about the disproportionate wealth of officers dealing with the appeals, it said.