In a huge embarrassment to the Chandigarh administration, a man, armed with court orders, took in his possession the official car of the finance secretary, the second senior-most official here. The administration has now filed an application with the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking release of their car.
Sanjay Majithia, an advocate by profession, drove away the Toyota Corolla car of Saravjit Singh to his palatial house in sector 9 after a local court ordered the car’s attachment. The court issued the directions after the administration failed to implement its February order of mutating a property in the name of the Majithia family that had become its absolute owners. Majithia’s father G.R. Majithia retired as a judge from the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
While the court directed attachment of the finance secretary’s car, it also sought a list of properties of other officials. The petitioners in their reply mentioned the car numbers of several senior officials, including the adviser and the home secretary, as also their office furniture and computers in the list of properties supplied to the court.
The administration’s embarrassment didn’t end with the car being seized by the private citizen. Following a quick enquiry into what went wrong in the matter, the administration suspended the public prosecutor who was handling its case matter. However, it created a furore in the courts with the district bar association protesting the suspension.
Describing it as a case of “bureaucratic high-handedness where a public prosecutor has been made a scapegoat to save the skin of inefficient, ignorant and corrupt officers”, they struck work for two days, forcing the administration to do a rethink and revoke the suspension.
Now, the administration has moved the High Court calling the order to attach the car as “perverse and illegal”, saying the official and these departments had no concern with the mutation of the property. It claims, “The civil judge has completely failed to appreciate that the judgment and decree is for execution of a document.” According to the administration, the warrants for possession of these vehicles and furniture are for “satisfaction of a money decree” and the executing court has “committed material irregularity in law.”