Criticising the Collectors of Villupuram and Salem for failing to implement court orders, the Madras High Court on Thursday issued notice asking them to show cause as to why suo motu action for contempt should not be initiated against them for their wilful disobedience. It also ordered them to explain before July 27 why they did not implement the court orders.

The First Bench passed an order on December 4 last year directing them to consider the applications submitted by a few persons whose lands were acquired long back for the purpose of formation of national highway. Even after taking possession of the lands, the Collectors had not taken steps to determine the compensation payable to the owners. Filing a writ petition again in the court, the land owners alleged that despite the court order, the Collectors had shown scant respect for the order.

When the matter came up before Justice K. K. Sasidharan for hearing, a government advocate submitted that so far 194 applications had been received and were pending before the District Collectors for their consideration.

Mr. Justice Sasidharan said, “There is a tendency now among certain officers to keep the time-orders of court in cold storage and to drive litigants from pillar to post.”

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