IAS officer apologises in HC, court recalls arrest warrant

A day after the Madras High Court ordered his arrest for failure to appear in a contempt case despite advance notice, Tamil Nadu higher education secretary Mangat Ram Sharma on Tuesday tendered an unconditional apology in the HC. Sharma appeared before Justice N Kirubakaran and filed an affidavit tendering unconditional apology for his failure to be present in the court on Monday.

Following this, the HC recalled the arrest of the Secretary of the Higher Education Department for ‘deliberately avoiding appearance’. The court was incensed after the senior IAS officer skipped summons in a contempt of court proceedings and issued a warrant for his arrest. The case relates to opening of distance education centres outside the state by Bharathiyar University. The court had earlier ordered against opening of such centres outside Tamil Nadu. However, Sharma had allowed opening of such centres.

Directing the court registry to issue a bailable warrant against the IAS official, the judge ordered the Chennai Police Commissioner to arrest and produce him before the court by January 9.
The court had on December 4, 2018 ordered Sharma, Bharathiyar University Registrar (in-charge) B Vanitha and eight other syndicate members to appear in the court Monday.
"On December 5 itself, he was served notice... he should have made arrangements to see to it that he appears before this court," the judge said.