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'Not A Case Of Single Mistake': Madhya Pradesh HC Issues Contempt Notice To Collector For Wilfully Disobeying Its Order On Multiple Occasions [Read Order]

Akshita Saxena
25 May 2020 7:54 AM GMT
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The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently initiated contempt proceedings against the District Collector posted at Anuppur, for disobeying a High Court order on multiple occasions.

Rejecting the unconditional apology tendered by the Collector Chandramohan Thakur, the bench of Justice Vishal Dhagat observed that "it is not a case where Collector has committed a single mistake".

In the backdrop, the High Court had on August 30, 2019, stayed the transfer order passed against the Petitioner who was working as Assistant Commissioner Tribal Welfare, Anuppur and had directed that if the Petitioner had been relieved and if somebody else had been brought in his place, even then the Petitioner shall be allowed to continue at his place of posting.

Nevertheless, the court noted, Thakur attempted to thwart the judicial order on four occasions:

  • First, on September 9, 2019, he issued a note sheet stating that the said post had been given to one DS Rawat and advised the Petitioner to join in the district as per government order.
  • Second, on December 6, 2019, another transfer order was passed against the Petitioner, directing the Petitioner to take charge of the office in Barwani District. The same came to be stayed by the Court on December 16, 2019 and the Petitioner took charge of the office in Anuppur on December 20, 2019.
  • Third, to prevent the Petitioner from sitting in the office, SDO, who works under Thakur, sealed the office of Assistant Commissioner Tribal Welfare, Anuppur on December 22, 2019.
  • Lastly, despite Divisional Commissioner's direction to comply with the High Court order dated August 30, 2019, Thakur allowed one Vivek Pandey to join as incharge Assistant Commissioner Tribal Welfare, Anuppur.

Even though Thakur apprised the Bench that the impugned note sheet had been withdrawn, the Court was inclined to initiate contempt proceedings.

"It is not a case where Collector has committed a single mistake and thereafter he has relented by withdrawing its note sheet dated 05/09/2019. After writing of note sheet dated 05/09/2019, under the directions of Collector, S.D.O. has sealed the office of Assistant Commissioner Tribal Welfare, Anuppur on 22/12/2019 and he was not allowed to work as Assistant Commissioner Tribal Welfare. The action of respondent No.1 was contemptuous in nature. He openly, voluntarily and willfully defied the order passed by this Court on 30/08/2019," the bench observed.

The court thus issued show cause notice to Thakur, asking why punishment may not be imposed upon him for willful disobedience of a judicial order.

"This Court finds that respondent No.1 namely Chandra Mohan Thakur, Collector Anuppur has committed contempt of this Court by committing willful breach of order dated 30/08/2019.

In view of aforesaid finding arrived at by this Court, Registry is directed to issue notice to Chandra Mohan Thakur, Collector Anuppur to appear before this Court on hearing on the question of punishment to be imposed upon him for committing the contempt of this Court," the order states.

The case will be heard post lockdown.

Case Details:

Case Title: PN Chaturvedi v. Chandramohan Thakur & Anr.

Case No.: Conc No. 2798/2019

Quorum: Justice Vishal Dhagat

Appearance: Advocates Manoj Kumar Sharma and Amardeep Gupta (for Petitioner); Advocate General Shashank Shekhar, Deputy Advocate General Praveen Dubey and Government Advocate Rohit Sohgaura (for Respondents)

Click Here To Download Order

Read Order

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