On Tuesday, the Supreme Court stayed a non-bailable warrant issued by the Allahabad High Court on Noida CEO Ritu Maheshwari for failing to appear before it in a contempt case a day after it had refused to do so.
After senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi raised the issue, a bench led by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana halted the order. The plea will be heard in detail by the court on Wednesday.
Maheshwari had gone to the high court on May 5, the day she was summoned, but had arrived late, according to Rohatgi, “this is a heinous instance in which a lady officer appeared in Allahabad High Court, her counsel was present, and she requested a pass over, but the high court issued an order summoning her and placing her in custody!”.
The CEO had been summoned by the Allahabad High Court on May 5 in connection with a land purchase case. On the appointed day, however, she was notified that she had a flight to catch at 10.30 a.m.
This enraged the high court, which stated that the official was scheduled to appear at 10 a.m. and that her failure to do so amounted to disrespect for the court, ordering her to be brought before it in police custody on May 13.
“You are an IAS official, you know the regulations,” the Supreme Court told the CEO on Monday, refusing to suspend the warrant. Every day, we see violations of directives from the Allahabad High Court. This is standard procedure, one of the officers must come every day and request permission. What exactly is this? You disregard the court’s directions. You’ll have to face the consequences if you don’t follow high court orders.”
The senior IAS officer, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA), has appealed to the Supreme Court against the Allahabad High Court’s issuing of the NBW in a land purchase case.
The High Court injunction was issued because the officer failed to appear in court on time.