The Madras High Court on Monday came down heavily on state administration and observed that if the court’s directions to clear the encroachments are not followed within ten days, the Chief Secretary would be summoned for his personal appearance till the disposal of the cases.

Heading the first bench along with Justice N Mala, Chief Justice Munishwar Nath observed this on suo-motu proceedings initiated by the court in January 2022, on the basis of the news item that appeared in a regional newspaper.

According to the news, several people encroached on the stormwater draining structures in Velachery and Taramani areas, and the same will cause floods during the monsoon.

Since the authorities did not file an action taken report as per the directions of the court in March pertaining to the removal of the illegal occupancies, the HC imposed Rs 25,000 penalty on the respondent authorities, including the district Collectors.

“Even though the Chief Secretary passed a circular to implement the court orders in letter and spirit, the officers are not acting upon the directions of the CS, ” the bench observed.

The Chief Justice further warned that if the court orders are not implemented within ten days, the same will amount to summoning the CS every time till the disposal of the case.

“The contempt proceedings will be initiated against district collectors and other officials failing to implement the court orders. The court will also not allow the delinquent officers from withdrawing their salary and pay benefits,” the court noted.

The judges adjourned the matter for two weeks.