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High Court imposes cost of Rs. 10,000 on suspended VAO

Staff Reporter

Says he had abused the process of court by filing cases after cases


He was caught by DVAC sleuths in a trap case during his tenure at Varaganeri in Tiruchi district

“The learned counsel for petitioner has no explanation for filing the second writ petition within one week”


MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here on Thursday imposed a cost of Rs.10,000 on a Village Administrative Officer (VAO), under suspension in connection with a bribe case, for abusing the process of law by filing writ petitions after writ petitions challenging his suspension order.

Justice K. Chandru imposed the cost, to be paid within two weeks, while dismissing a couple of writ petitions filed by P. Palanisamy, who was caught in a trap case, by the sleuths of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) during his tenure as the VAO of Varaganeri in Tiruchi district on May 26, 2005.

Initially, he filed a writ petition in 2006 challenging the suspension order.

However, when the case was taken up for hearing, his counsel restricted the relief and said that it would be sufficient to direct the Tiruchi Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) to consider a representation given by the petitioner.

Accordingly, a direction was issued to the RDO. But the officer found that there was no such representation.

Nevertheless, he summoned the petitioner and refused to revoke the suspension order after making an enquiry. Thereafter, the petitioner filed an appeal before the District Revenue Officer (DRO).

Even while the appeal was pending with the DRO, the petitioner chose to file another writ petition in 2009 challenging the RDO's order dated October 17, 2006. Disposing of the petition, the High Court on June 15, 2009 directed the DRO to consider a representation given by the petitioner.

On August 18, 2009, the DRO too rejected the petitioner's request on the basis of a Government Letter which stated that revoking suspension orders of persons caught in trap cases would harm the Government's objective of maintaining honesty in public service besides affecting the discipline of other Government servants.

After this, the petitioner filed a writ petition challenging the DRO's order and the High Court on October 24, 2009 directed a Special Government Pleader to obtain instructions.

Within five days thereafter, he filed yet another writ petition challenging the 2005 suspension order and obtained an interim stay.

Taking up both these writ petitions for final hearing, Mr. Justice Chandru said:

“The learned counsel for the petitioner has no explanation for filing the second writ petition within one week… The petitioner cannot be allowed to file writ petition after writ petition raising grounds on piecemeal basis. His conduct itself is questionable and the court cannot condone his action.”

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