Justice T. Amarnath Goud of the Telangana High Court had awarded six-month simple imprisonment to two IAS officers, two IFS officers and two other officers in a contempt of court case.
The judge held them guilty of not complying with the order of the HC passed in 2009. The judge also imposed a fine of ₹2,000 each on the officials.
The officers who were awarded jail term and fine included D. Amoy Kumar IAS (Ranga Reddy Collector), A Santha Kumari IAS (Special Chief Secretary of Environmental Forest Sciences and Technology), R. Shobha IFS (Principal Chief Conservator of Forests), Sunitha M. Bhagwat IFS (Principal Chief Conservator of Forests), Janaki Ram (Divisional Forest Officer) and S. Tirupathi Rao (Additional Collector and Forest Settlement Officer).
Mohd. Sirajuddin and nine others filed the contempt of court petition in 2015 alleging that the officials failed to implement the HC orders with regard to 383 acres of land in Maheshwaram village and mandal of Ranga Reddy district.
The dispute over rights of the said lands (survey nos. 221/1 to 222/20) started in 2008 when the Forest authorities initiated action under AP Forest Act-1967 to declare the lands as Reserve Forest. The next year, the petitioners moved the HC by filing a writ petition and challenged the decision of the Forest authorities.
The HC disposed of the petition and directed the authorities to finalise within six months the issue relating to the acquisition of lands for conversion into Reserve Forest. With the authorities not complying with the HC order, the petitioners filed the contempt of court case in 2015.
During the arguments, the petitioners’ counsel contended that Maheshwaram Mandal Revenue Officer in year 2000 sent a report to the Collector clarifying that the lands were patta lands. He told the court that authorities moved a proposal to allot 380 acres of land to the petitioners under land bank of Ranga Reddy district as acquiring their lands would require payment of huge compensation to the land owners.