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HC's contempt notice to State Information Commissioner in Priyanka land purchase case

The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Friday issued notices to the state Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioner, asking them to explain why contempt proceedings will not be initiated against them for disobeying the Court's orders staying the proceeding before Information Commissioner in Priyanka Gandhi land purchase case.



Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Friday issued notices to the state Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioner, asking them to explain why contempt proceedings will not be initiated against them for disobeying the Court's orders staying the proceeding before Information Commissioner in Priyanka Gandhi land purchase case.

The notice was issued to State Chief Information Commissioner Bhim Sen and Information Commissioner and KD Batish.

A division bench of the High Court, consisting of Justice Trilok Singh Chauhan and Justice PS Rana, also stayed further proceedings pending adjudication before the Information Commissioner in the matter pertaining to the information related to land purchased by Priyanka Gandhi for construction of a house at Chharabra near in Shimla.

The bench observed that the action of the respondents, on the face of it, undermines the majesty of this Court and at the same time shows scant regard and respect these respondents have for the orders passed by this Court.

It not only amounts to judicial impropriety but also reflects a lack of judicial decorum as both the respondents were bound to implement the directions passed by this Court in letter and spirit.

"Having failed to do so, they are prima facie guilty of deliberate and willful disobedience of the orders passed by this Court on July 7,2015 and thereby committing civil contempt by passing an order on July 23,2015 and accordingly, let both the respondents show cause why proceedings under the Contempt of Courts Act be not initiated against them for having deliberately and willfully disobeyed the order passed by this Court," the bench said.

It also asked the respondents to present in the court in person on the next hear fixed on September 11, 2015.

The State Information Commission had had in its order on June 29 last directed the PIO-cum-ADM to give information regarding the land purchased by Priyanka Gandhi near Shimla to RTI activist Debasheesh Bhattacharya within ten days and also issues notice to DC, Shimla and PIO asking why penalty should not be imposed of them for withholding the information.

The order was challenged in the High Court by Priynka Gandhi and the orders of the Commission were stayed.

In the mean time, CIC passed orders asking the PIO-cum-ADM seeking more queries and Priyanka filed contempt petition which was heard today. 

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