Tension gripped the officials of General Administration department (GAD) at Vallabh Bhawan, the state secretariat, on Wednesday when a team from the local court reached there to attach the property of Radhey Shyam Julania, principal secretary, irrigation department.
The eight-member court team reached the second floor of Vallabh Bhawan at about 3 pm to attach the property of Julania against an amount of more than Rs 24 crore, which had not been paid to a contractor by the department despite the court order.
The team member after reaching room number 227 - Julania’s chamber - and told his personal assistant about the matter. His PA said that Julania is in a meeting. After waiting for half-an-hour, the court officials met his PA again and told about their obligations.
At 3.30pm, GAD deputy secretary BR Vishwakarma arrived and took the court officials inside the principal secretary’s room.
Sources present at the spot said that Vishwakarma tried to explain the court officials that they cannot attach the property as it belonged to the GAD, but the court officials did not relent.
This drama went on for an hour. Then Vishwakarma made some phone calls and left the chamber and came back after half-an-hour.
In the meanwhile, the court officials also made some calls apart from receiving several calls. The sources present on the spot said that the court officials finally got a call from 'someone' that they could not ignore.
In between, security officials of Vallabh Bhawan also came there to ascertain that none of the government property was attached or taken away.
Amid these developments, half of the court officials left for the parking looking for vehicles of the principal secretary. They, however, returned, empty-handed.
The case dates back to 2010 when Julania stopped payment of Rs 24 crore to a contractor, SK Jain.
Jain had a contract of Rs 150 crore for Chambal-Betwa Canal at Sheopur. Jain took the case to arbitration tribunal and later to court and got decision in his favour from both the places.
The court had ordered the irrigation department in 2012 to pay him Rs 24 crore with 18% interest. Julania did not abide by the court’s verdict.
Finally, the court issued attachment warrant of the official property of principal secretary, irrigation; chief engineer, Yamuna Basin; water resources department (WRD), Gwalior; executive engineer, WRD Morena and executive engineer WRD Sheopur to recover Rs 8.27 crore.
Jain while talking to HT said that it was a case of arrogance of an IAS officer. "I have won at all the courts and the IAS officer is not ready to even abide by the court's order. Government is suffering a loss of Rs 37 lakh per month in form of interest due to his arrogance," said Jain.
Julania said the matter is sub-judice in the high court. The government has apprised the high court about the developments and sought further directions.