Gujarat IAS officer apologises for WhatsApp message sent to High Court judge

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Vadodara Municipal Corporation Commissioner Vinod Rao has apologised unconditionally before the Gujarat High Court for sending a WhatsApp message to a judge hearing a petition against the civic body.

While pulling up Rao for his WhatsApp message, Justice R H Shukla had asked why a case of the contempt of court should not be initiated against him.

On 22 August, Rao had urged the judge to “dispose the matter on merits considering larger public interest as against the narrow vested interests of a few persons”.

In his affidavit, Rao tendered his unconditional apology saying, “I have been made to understand and also realised it myself that such an act of sending a text message to the honourable judge hearing the case was highly improper…I tender my unconditional apology and pray for your mercy,” he said.

The court will decide on the matter in hearing scheduled for next week, reported Press Trust of India.

The court is hearing a set of petitions filed by the tenants of a building situated near the Vadodara railway station, who had challenged the VMC’s action to demolish it.

The court had granted an interim stay on the demolition.

Rao’s message argued that the petitioners are “erstwhile tenants of Zilla Panchayat, all of whom are very rich and influential,” and they are trying to sabotage the VMC’s plan to construct a “state-of-the-art city transport terminal and multi-level parking hub” at the place, where the building in dispute stands.

He also said that the building, partly demolished, also poses danger to the public as it can collapse any time during these days of heavy rains.

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