HomeBureaucracyAppointmentsHigh Court holds IAS Vikas Garg, IAS Ajoy Sharma, IFS R K...

High Court holds IAS Vikas Garg, IAS Ajoy Sharma, IFS R K Mishra guilty of contempt of Court

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The Punjab and high court (HC) held three officers – two IAS and one officer of Punjab guilty of of court.

These officers include additional chief -cum-financial commissioner (forest department), Vikas Garg; principal secretary, local government, Ajoy Sharma and principal chief conservator of forests, Raman Kant Mishra.

Officers have been time till October 20 to “purge the contempt”.
“If they fail to comply with the order by the given date, the HC would fix a date for pronouncing the quantum of sentence.

“The officers are prima facie found guilty of violating the orders of this court as well as the undertaking given by them before the court,” the bench of justice Arvind Sangwan pronounced.

The next day of hearing has been scheduled on October 20.

Justice Sangwan also directed to send a copy of the order to the Punjab chief secretary immediately, with a direction to file his compliance affidavit on or before the date fixed.

Vikas Garg is a 1998 batch IAS officer while Ajoy Sharma is a 1999 batch IAS officer from Rajasthan cadre. Raman Kant Mishra is 1990 batch IFS officer.

The Case

A contempt plea was filed by Bari Karoran gram panchayat in Mohali on May 18, 2023, seeking contempt of court proceedings for violation of court orders.

It was stated in the plea that the HC ion May 28, 2014 had ruled for de notification of the village land notified under the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900, and declaring it as non-forest land. The apex court, in 2016, had also upheld the decision but the government has still not issued notification in this regard.

Villagers are still facing problems while undertaking any development or getting water or electricity connection etc.,
“Officials are rejecting the applications stating that the description of 1,092 acre of land, which is excluded from forest area, is not given and that can be done only by issuing a corrigendum by the authorities concerned, which is not being done,” the plea read.

The court observed that a period of nine years has lapsed since May 28, 2014 judgment of high court and subsequent judgment of the Supreme Court and seven years when the contempt petitions were disposed of by HC on assurance from the state but the orders have still not been complied with.

The court said, “on the face of it, the conduct of the respondents despite being given repeated time to comply with the directions, not only amounts to willful disobedience, but also reflects the adamant mind so much so that some of the subsequent communications are contrary to own undertaking given before the court,”

“Repeated affidavits filed by all respondents also reflects that they are trying to put the burden on each other instead of adhering to and comply with the directions of the court and many citizens are facing great hardships,” the Bench added.

Vivek Shukla
Vivek Shuklahttps://www.thebuckstopper.com/
Vivek Shukla is a management graduate who has worked in corporate worked for 20 years and is now pursuing his passion — news.
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