HC takes up top DJB officials for contempt of orders

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New Delhi, Nov 25 (UNI) Delhi High Court today fined the Delhi Jal Board officials for not performing their duties, despite the court orders and warned them of two months of civil imprisonment if the orders were still not complied.

Aggrieved by the attitude of the government officials who take court orders lightly, Justice Shiv Narayan Dhingra directed three senior officers of the DJB to pay a fine of Rs 20,000 each for not complying with the court directions, of stopping the flow of sewage into rain water and warned them if the court directions were not followed within three months, they would have to undergo civil imprisonment for two weeks.

The Judge said there was a callous and negligent attitude of the officials of the undertaking and there is a deliberate violation of the court orders.

The case relates to a matter where 35 year-old Kalkaji trunk sewer having a length of four kms, was in a bad shape as the sewer lines of Greater Kailash, Masjid Moth, EPR colony and Chirag Enclave connected to it, were broken and the sewage water flowed into rain water drains.

Earlier, the Court had directed DJB Chief Engineer B M Dhaul(retd) to rectify the problem by May 31, 2006. But no action was taken by the DJB.

The DJB officials kept assuring the Court that action was being taken in this regard.

Mr K D Sharma and other residents approached the court to prosecute the officials for contempt of court.

''It is only in this country that citizens have to knock the doors of the courts to get relief. It only shows that normal citizens are dealt with such contempt by the authorities and essential services like sewage lines are not maintained by the departments despite repeated complaints by the citizens,'' Justice Dhingra said.

The Court said when petitions were filed in the court false reports were filed by the officials to misguide the court.

Earlier, it was stated that a case of perjury should have been filed against the officer but since he has retired, contempt of court proceedings against other three officers should be initiated.

The Court awarded DJB Chief Executive Officer Arun Mathur, Chief Engineer(drainage)R K Jain and Executive Engineer(C)DR-XV P Pant a suspended sentence of civil imprisonment for two weeks and a fine of Rs 20,000 each for not abiding by the undertaking given to them by the court for repairing the sewer line.

The Court said in case the entire flow of sewage into water drain is not stopped within three months, these officers would undergo civil imprisonment. However they shall be liable to pay the fine which shall be recovered from their salaries, the Court added.


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