New Delhi : The Delhi High Court today directed Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash and two other bureaucrats to appear before the committees of Delhi Legislative Assembly which had issued notices to them, warning them of contempt if they did not do so.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru warned the Chief Secretary and two other IAS officers that the court could issue contempt action against them if they failed to appear before the panels, saying they are officers and will have to appear before all the committees.
The order came after the counsel for Delhi Legislative Assembly, the Speaker and two panels informed the court that the three officers were neither appearing before the committees, nor giving reply to the information sought from them.
They were taking advantage of the court’s earlier order restraining the authorities from taking action against them, the counsels alleged. The high court had on March 9 asked the panels not to take coercive steps against the IAS officers.
The court today said, “it is clarified that the petitioners (bureaucrats) shall participate in the proceedings of the panels without prejudice to their rights and contentions.”
“It is the direction of this court that you will have to appear. If you fail to appear, forget about them (authorities), this court will issue contempt action against you”.
The court also made it clear that the committees will not take any coercive action against the bureaucrats till the pendency of petitions and directed that the proceedings of the panel meetings should be videographed.
The chief secretary was earlier served a notice by the Privileges Committee for skipping a meeting on February 20, which was scheduled a day after he was allegedly assaulted by two AAP MLAs — Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal.
The Privileges Committee had issued the notice after receiving a complaint against the Chief Secretary by the Question & Reference (Q&R) Committee.
The Q&R Committee had also served notice on two IAS officers — J B Singh, Registrar of Cooperative Societies, and Shurbir Singh, chief executive officer of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB).
The chief secretary and the two officers were called for the meeting by the Q&R Committee to examine issues in which a reply from the Department of Cooperative Society was found to be uncomplete and unsatisfactory. The issues related to the Delhi Nagrik Sahkari Bank Ltd.