BHOPAL : A single-member bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, Jabalpur through its interim order has stayed the recovery order and proceedings initiated by health department against Director, Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Yogiraj Sharma. The High Court simultaneously also issued contempt notices to Principal Secretary, Praveer Krishn and Commissioner Pankaj Agrawal for flouting its earlier orders of stay on recovery orders issued by the health department.

Dr. Yogiraj Sharma was serving as Director, Health and Family Welfare from 1998 till date. He was terminated from his services on various grounds in April 2013, which order was set aside by the High Court in November 2014. During this period, the health department issued five different orders of recovery of various amounts from him.

The High Court on November 27, 2014 restrained the health department from “taking any coercive action” against Dr. Sharma. Thereafter despite HC’s order, the State Government issued press releases all over the state in various newspapers calling upon Dr. Yogiraj Sharma to appear personally before the Secretary on December 16 without fail.

Counsel for the petitioners, Siddharth Radhelal Gupta contended that the action of the respondent authorities amounted to gross contempt of the directions of High Court, which had restrained the department from giving effect to recovery orders and therefore contempt proceedings be initiated against them. In the arguments of counsel, the High Court through its interim order restrained the health department from “taking any coercive action against Dr. Sharma” various public notices published in the newspapers on December 7.

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