Three Chhattisgarh officials held guilty of contempt of court
Bilaspur: The Chhattisgarh High Court has held three officials, including two IAS officials, guilty of contempt of court, for not complying with court orders related to a land acquisition case of 1978-79.
However, at the request of officials concerned, the High Court deferred its pronouncement of sentence to July 31.
A single bench of Justice Prashant Mishra found that the two officials - retired state administrative service official M D Diwan and Ashok Agrawal, who earlier served as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Raipur Development Authority (RDA) as well as its present CEO Alex Paul Menon guilty of contempt of court, for not complying with court orders in the case of land acquisition under the Shailendra Nagar Yojana scheme.
In 1978-79, the RDA had acquired around 46 acres of land owned by Vijaylaxmi Sharma and six others under the Shailendra Nagar Yojana, promising to provide 20 plots at its new settlement to land owners, besides suitable compensation.
When the RDA failed to fulfil its promise, Vijaylaxmi and six others took the matter to the Madhya Pradesh High Court which put a stay on the scheme, the petitioners` counsel B P Sharma said on Tuesday.
After formation of the Chhattisgarh state, the case was transferred to the state high court at Bilaspur which directed RDA to adequately compensate land owners in May 2008.
The court also directed that if plots were not available in Shailendra Nagar, then as per the terms and conditions of the contract, land owners should be provided land of the same value and importance in other locations as compensation.
Despite this, the RDA neither allotted plots to the petitioners nor compensated them by paying prices at appropriate market rates, prompting them to move a petition seeking to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the officials concerned.
When the matter came up for hearing on Monday, the court held the officials guilty for contempt.
The court has directed compensation to be paid to Vijaylaxmi Sharma and others before July 29 or else face contempt proceedings on July 31.
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