Shimla, Sep 11: The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Friday asked the state chief information commissioner why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him for disobeying its orders on Priyanka Vadra’s land purchase.
A division bench of Justice D.C. Chaudhary and Justice P.S. Rana was hearing a contempt petition on the land purchase by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Vadra near this popular hill station.
Bhim Sen, who informed the court that due to unavoidable circumstances he could not appear before it, was told to remain present in the court on October 10, the next date of hearing.
However, Information Commissioner K.D. Batish, who was also summoned by the court, was present and sought two weeks of time to file the reply to its show-cause notice. The court granted him more time.
The high court on August 7 summoned both the officials and also stayed the proceedings in the information commission.
Vadra alleged that despite the stay order passed by the high court in her writ petition, the information commission proceeded with the matter and had summoned the records relating to the land purchased by her.
The information commission on July 23 rapped government officials, including Deputy Commissioner Dinesh Malhotra, summoned them and the records related to the land deal on August 20.
The government officials are facing penalty proceedings for withholding information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Earlier, the high court stayed a directive of the information commission to the government to provide information about the land purchase by Vadra.
Vadra’s cottage, just 15 km uphill of state capital Shimla, is coming up at a height of more than 8,000 feet.