The High Court of Karnataka has taken General Secretary of Panchayath Raj Department and other officers to task for sending a notice to Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL) despite a court stay order, reports Kannada Prabha.

Justice Vineeth Kothari issued a contempt of court notice to PDO of Anneshwara village Gram Panchayath, Bengaluru rural district, for issuing a notice to BIAL demanding to pay property tax when in fact, the court had stayed the case. The court also issued a show cause notice asking why action should not be taken against PDO, instructing to reply within two weeks.

The court had instructed an officer from the Panchayath Raj Department to submit an attendance certificate at the inquiry conducted about action taken with regard to stop their own department officials issuing orders superseding rules.

The Public Prosecutor responded stating the officer could not be present for the inquiry as he was preoccupied with Assembly session at Belagavi. Irked at this, judge slammed the method of working of officers.

It can be recalled here that Bengaluru Rural Zilla Panchayath CEO had issued a notice to BIAL stating that the property tax was increased to Rs 80 crore. BIAL had lodged a complaint with the HC questioning the hike. On Oct 11, the high court had heard the application and issued a stay order to the CEO’s notice. The court had also instructed that no forceful action should be taken against BIAL regarding property tax recovery. The court had instructed to find out if an appropriate re-inquiry could be conducted regarding property tax. However, the PDO of Annigeri village Gram Panchayath had ignored the court’s orders and issued a notice to BIAL demanding to pay property tax. Hence, the court issued contempt of court against PDO.