2 IAS officers tender apology on contempt charge

Cuttack: Even as two senior IAS officers tendered unconditional apology for disobeying its orders, Odisha High Court on Monday did not commit anything and adjourned the matter to August 22 after seeking objections if any from the petitioner.

State Rural Development Secretary S N Tripathy and Women and Child Development Secretary Arati Ahuja, who are facing contempt of court charges, filed additional show-cause replies by appearing in the court personally on the day.

Admitting guilt, the two IAS officers appealed to the Division Bench of Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice B N Mohapatra to drop the contempt charges leveled against them.

The High Court during its previous hearing on the PIL pertaining to sensational dal scam in the state had indicated to frame charges against the officers for contempt proceedings initiated against them since December last year.

Arising out of dal scam, where it was alleged that inferior quality of pulses were supplied in Anganwadi centres mid-day meal scheme, the High Court last year had ordered the state government to ensure that proper drinking water facilities were made available in all the 9543 Anganwadi centres by June 30, 2011.

While the government miserably failed in meeting the deadline, the two IAS officers in their capacities as secretary had given prevaricated statements on the issue to the High Court. Upon filing a contempt petition by the PIL petitioner, the HC on December 5, 2011 had initiated contempt proceedings against the two officers.