The Madras High Court on Monday directed the District Collector and District Forest Officer, Nilgiris, to appear before it in a contempt case filed against them for wilfully disobeying a court order.
The Bench of Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M. Venugopal gave the directive to Archana Patnaik, the Nilgiris Collector, and S.Ramasubramanian, District Forest Officer, to appear before them on June 4.
S.Jayachandran, former Honorary Secretary, Nilgiris Wildlife and Environment Association, filed the present contempt petition.
On 17 April 2011, a Division Bench of Madras High Court upheld the validity of G.O dated August 31, 2010 pertaining to acquisition of the elephant corridor, besides observing that the occupants of the area earmarked for elephant corridor had violated the provisions of various legislations governing that locality, including the Tamil Nadu Preservation of Private Forest Act,1949, and directed the occupants to hand over the lands in their possession to the government within three months.
In the contempt petition, S.Jayachandran said that despite the order, the district authorities have ratified sale deeds executed by some private individuals in violation of the provisions of private forest preservation law. The said ratification accorded by them was unilateral and in utter and deliberate disobedience of the order of the High court.