Madurai, November 16: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court, in a recent order, observed that IAS officers should be punished with imprisonment if they do not comply with court’s directions.

Justice S Vaidyanathan said that if any IAS officer is found to have deliberately disobeyed the court’s order, he or she should be punished with imprisonment. “Imposition of fine should only be secondary and imprisonment should be primary,” he added, The New Indian Express reported.

The judge was hearing a petition filed by one Mathavadiyan seeking direction to the authorities to consider an appeal filed by him to make correction in the entries in his patta. Justice Vaidyanathan stated that officials should adhere to time limit while dealing with applications filed under Tamil Nadu Patta Passbook Act, 1983.

He said that lately several cases are filed before the Court seeking disposal of applications filed under Sections 10 to 13 of the aforementioned Act and if those applications are disposed of in time by the authorities concerned, the applicants need not unnecessarily approach the Court.

“It is not known as to why an order of the Court is required for the authorities to do their job as adumbrated under the Act, for which salary is provided to them,” he further criticised.

Citing a Madras High Court judge, who visited the accident spot before granting compensation to an electrocution victim, as an example, Justice Vaidyanathan said the government authorities ought to conduct spot inspections wherever necessary.

If they cannot, they are unfit to hold the post and should be shown the doors, he said. Recalling a judgment passed by a Division Bench of the court framing guidelines to be followed by revenue officials in various matters, the judge noted it is unsure whether the same has been complied with and gave the aforesaid warning.

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