The Delhi High Court on Friday asked three of the city’s bureaucrats, including the chief secretary, to appear before the Assembly committees that had issued them notices, PTI reported. Not doing so will amount to contempt of court, the High Court added.

The Question and Reference Committee of the Legislative Assembly issued a notice to Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash and officers JB Singh and Shurbir Singh for skipping a meeting on February 20, the day after Prakash was allegedly assaulted by two MLAs of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party.

The Privileges Committee also issued them notices on the basis of a complaint filed by the Question and Reference Committee. The officers challenged the summons.

The counsels for the Delhi Assembly, the Speaker and the two committees told the court that the officers were neither appearing before the panels nor replying to requests for information. They said the bureaucrats were taking advantage of an order by the court in March, restraining the panels from taking action against them.

Justice Vibhu Bakhru told the bureaucrats that they are officers and will have to appear before all the panels. “It is clarified that the petitioners [bureaucrats] shall participate in the proceedings of the panels without prejudice to their rights and contentions,” the judge said. “It is the direction of this court that you will have to appear. If you fail to appear, forget about them [authorities], this court will issue contempt action against you.”