Chennai: On Tuesday, January 8, the Madras High Court reordered the arrest of the Secretary of Higher Education Department, Mangat Ram Sharma for non-compliance of order of summons.
On Monday, Justice N Kirubakaran directed the registry to a bailable warrant against the Education Secretary, wherein the Commissioner of Police is meant to arrest and produce Secretary Sharma before the Court on Wednesday, January 9.
The matter pertains to a plea moved by the Association of Self-Financing Arts College against the Bharatiyar University seeking instruction not to grant affiliation to conduct distance education through franchise institutions for the academic year 2016-2017. Subsequently, the University was summoned, wherein all except Mangat Ram Sharma appeared before the Court. Therefore, an order of summons was issued in the name of the Education Secretary pertaining to non-appearance during contempt proceedings filed by the Association of Self-Financing Arts College.
The order for arrest was issued pursuant to the Education Secretary’s deliberate non-appearance in Court pertaining to summons in a contempt petition. At the time of pronouncing the decision, Justice Kirubakaran observed that contempt proceedings are important and must be dealt with sincerely, especially when senior officials of the State are involved. The Secretary was issued with a notice of summons on December 15, 2018, thereby giving him sufficient time to ensure his presence at the time prescribed by the Court. It was observed that although, the Secretary submitted an unconditional apology in the matter. It does not provide him with the liberty to act in contravention to law.