The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Court asks power board chairman to publicise apology

Ranchi, Oct. 30: Jharkhand High Court today directed state electricity board chairman Rajiv Ranjan to publish in newspapers his “apology letter” tendered to the court so that “the people of Jharkhand know what the board was doing”.

Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya passed the order while hearing a writ petition filed by Deoghar Food Products. The order came when JSEB chairman Rajiv Ranjan and Singhbhum general manager Anand Sagar filed an apology in reply to a showcause notice issued by the court on October 9.

Taking strong exception to the JSEB chief’s views, the court said: “You are making the general manager a scapegoat. First, you issue a letter against the court and then you inform the court that you are withdrawing it. This is contempt of the court. If this is done the next time, the court will take action under the contempt provisions and order a dismissal from the post.”

“You have committed contempt of the court several times. You are spoiling the image of the board by not complying with the court’s order,” the court added.

Earlier this month, the court had frowned on a letter issued by the JSEB’s Singhbhum general manager asking subordinates not to abide by orders of the high court, particularly those relating to grant or renewal of power connections to defaulting industrial units.

Sagar had also directed that no orders of the court should be implemented without prior reference to the JSEB law officer. The court had ordered the JSEB chief and the general manager to appear in person on October 30.

Following the high court’s strictures, the JSEB chief had sent a showcause notice to the Singhbhum general manager, asking him to explain why disciplinary action should not be initiated against him for issuing such a directive.

Ranjan also directed general managers to provide details of all court orders not challenged before a superior court and the reasons for non-implementation. Ranjan then transferred the Singhbhum general manager to Ranchi headquarters.

Appearing before the court today, the JSEB chairman said he had issued the letter to the general manager only in regard to those cases in which the JSEB intended to file an appeal before a superior court.

“But the general manager misunderstood it and interpreted it in a different way. The letter has been already withdrawn. For this, he has been transferred from Singhbhum to Ranchi,” Ranjan added.

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