The Andhra Pradesh High Court which had earlier slapped four senior Indian Administrative Service(IAS) officers and an ex-IAS officer with jail imprisonment and fine had changed its decision and gave a big relief to them.
Earlier on September 2, the single-judge bench of the High Court had issued directives directing four civil service officers and one retired officer to complete jail imprisonment and pay a fine. The court gave the orders taking a serious note of not following the court orders.
While giving the verdict, the single judge bench permitted the officials to go for an appeal and gave a one-month time limit. With this, they had moved the Andhra Pradesh High Court with a petition.
The officials had knocked on the doors of the High Court and the petition was heard by a division bench on Thursday. The bench quashed the orders issued by the single judge bench.
During the arguments, the counsel representing the officers told the High Court that the compensation that was supposed to be paid to the woman in a land-related matter has been paid off. Satisfied with this, the Court quashed the orders.
The case traces back to 2015 where a woman had moved the High Court against the officers saying that she was not paid the compensation for the land that was taken by the officers for a project. With the officers not responding to her request, she had moved the court.
The single-judge bench on September 2 heard the petition and directed the officials to observe jail imprisonment and pay a prescribed fine. As the officers had not paid the compensation, the High Court saw this as a contempt of court.
IAS officers R Mutyala Raju IAS, Seshagiri Babu, S S Rawat, and Imtiaz Ahmed, and retired IAS officer Manmohan Singh moved the court and got a major sigh of relief.
Besides canceling the orders on jail imprisonment, the division bench had directed the officials to pay a sum of one lakh rupees for the woman. However, the Court said that the amount should go from the pockets of the officials and not from the state government.