The Madras High Court Bench here on Wednesday ordered statutory notice to Madurai Corporation Commissioner C. Kathiravan in a contempt of court application filed by a lawyer accusing him of having wilfully disobeyed court orders. A Division Bench of Justices A. Selvam and V.S. Ravi passed the order requiring the Commissioner’s presence before the court within four weeks. M. Subash Babu, former president of Madurai Bench High Court Advocates Association (MBHAA) had filed the contempt petition.
According to the petitioner, a Public Works Department water channel on the side of a public road connecting Moondrumavadi with Iyer Bungalow in the city was under encroachment for long. It led to narrowing down of the road and consequent traffic snarls. Hence, he filed a writ petition and obtained an order on December 19, 2012 directing the PWD and revenue officials to evict the encroachers in accordance with the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Protection of Tanks and Eviction of Encroachments Act. Nevertheless, the officials did not initiate any action. Hence, he filed a contempt of court application last year and immediately the encroachers were evicted after following due process of law. However, the officials did not take steps to widen the road. Hence, he made a representation to the officials concerned and also filed a writ petition seeking a direction to consider the representation. The petition was disposed of on November 12, 2013 directing the officials to initiate appropriate action as early as possible. “Even after the lapse of three months, the respondent had not obeyed the orders of this court. Subsequently, I sent a contempt notice on January 20, 2014. Yet, no action was taken. The respondent is showing scant respect to the orders of this court and hence liable to be punished,” the petitioner added.