Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash. (File)
The Delhi High Court on Friday directed Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash and two other bureaucrats to appear before the Legislative Assembly panel or contempt action would be initiated against him. The court also asked Delhi Assembly panel to not take any coercive action against Prakash till his plea is pending, as per reports by PTI.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru told Prakash and two other IAS officers that they are officers and will have to appear before all the committees or action will be taken against them. “It is the direction of this court that you will have to appear. If you fail to appear, forget about them (authorities), this court will issue contempt action against you”.
The court said, “it is clarified that the petitioners (bureaucrats) shall participate in the proceedings of the panels without prejudice to their rights and contentions.”
The counsel for Delhi Legislative Assembly, the Speaker and two panels informed the court that the three offices were neither appearing before the committees nor replying to the information being sought from them. They were taking advantage of the court’s earlier order restraining the authorities from taking action against them, the counsels alleged.
The high court had on March 9 asked the panels not to take coercive steps against the IAS officers. The court also made it clear that the committees will not take any coercive action against the bureaucrats until the pendency of petitions and directed that the proceedings of the panel meetings should be videographed.
Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash was served a notice by the Privileges Committee after receiving a complaint by the Question & Reference (Q&R) Committee for the former having skipped a meeting on February 20.
Two IAS officers — J B Singh, Registrar of Cooperative Societies, and Shurbir Singh, chief executive officer of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) — too were issued notices by the Q&R Committee.
Prakash and the two IAS officers were called by the Q&R Committee to examine issues in which a reply from the Department of Cooperative Society was found to be incomplete and unsatisfactory. The issues related to the Delhi Nagrik Sahkari Bank Ltd.
(With PTI inputs)