HC nixes babu's travel plans

Skipped court appearance for foreign jaunt, show cause notice served

Proceeding on a foreign tour while ignoring a court’s order to appear before it in connection with the addressal of Varanasi’s civic problems proved costly for an IAS officer when the Allahabad High Court not only directed the state government to cancel his tour but also order departmental action against him.

The court had directed the commissioner of Varanasi division Chanchal Tewari to appear before it on Friday in connection with a public interest litigation (PIL) which had claimed that the officials were not paying attention to increasing encroachment and civic problems in the holy city.

The bench comprising acting chief justice Amitav Lala and justice P K S Baghel got furious when informed by the government lawyer that Tewari had gone abroad.

The court expressed its serious displeasure and said that instead of resolving the problems, the commissioner had proceeded on a foreign tour and directed the government to immediately cancel the tour and summon Tewari.

Explanation sought

The court also sought an explanation from the officer as to why he should not be suspended for dereliction of duty and directed departmental action against him.

The court directed the UP’s chief secretary to personally monitor the cleaning of drains and removal of encroachment from  Varanasi.

It also asked the district magistrate to visit the spot and take action rather than making plans while sitting in air conditioned rooms.

The PIL filed by some social activists had contended that the authorities were totally indifferent to the problems of the people.

Proof submitted

The petition also submitted pictures and photographs showing open drains, choked sewerage pipes and heaps of garbage in different parts of the city.

The court posted the matter for further hearing on October 17 and directed Tewari to be present.
 

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