advocatemmmohan

My photo

ADVOCATEMMMOHAN -  Practicing both IN CIVIL, CRIMINAL AND FAMILY LAWS,Etc.,

WELCOME TO LEGAL WORLD

WELCOME TO MY LEGAL WORLD - FOR KNOWLEDGE IN LAW & FOR LEGAL OPINIONS - SHARE THIS

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Contempt Act sec.14 - Shouting at court - is a great contempt , no notice sec.14 is necessary when done in the presence of High court and Apex court = Ram Niranjan Roy …Appellant Versus State of Bihar and Ors. …Respondents = 2014 (March.Part) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41369

Contempt Act sec.14  - Shouting at court - is a great contempt , no notice sec.14 is necessary when done in the presence of High court and Apex court  = 

The  appellant
claimed in the application that he was the President of  Bihar  Police  Seva
Sangh, a service association of members of Bihar Police Service.  He  stated
in the application that the transfers and postings of the officers of  Bihar
Police Service were done arbitrarily  in  violation  of  guiding  principles
framed by the  Home  Department  of  Government  of  Bihar.  =

He shouted  and  told  the  court
that he was  intervener  and  that  the  High  Court  has  not  focused  its
attention on the wrong policies of transfers within the  police  department.
He raised his voice with impertinence and declared that the  High  Court  is
not taking up his case wherein he has challenged his  transfer  and  posting
made in the police department.  Learned Judges, then, asked him  whether  he
had been granted leave by the Director General  of  Police  to  present  his
case.  He again shouted at the court and stated  that  he  had  applied  for
leave but whether leave is granted to him or not is not the concern  of  the
court.
  “Section 14 of the  Contempt  of  Courts  Act  no  doubt  contemplates
      issuance of notice and an opportunity to the contemnors to answer  the
      charges in the notice to satisfy the principles  of  natural  justice.
      However, where an incident of the instant nature  takes  place  within
      the presence and sight of the learned  Judges,  the  same  amounts  to
      contempt in the face of the Court and is required to be dealt with  at
      the time of the incident itself. This is necessary for the dignity and
      majesty of the courts to be maintained. When  an  object,  such  as  a
      footwear, is thrown at the Presiding Officer in  a  court  proceeding,
      the object is not to merely scandalise or humiliate the Judge, but  to
      scandalise the institution itself and thereby lower its dignity in the
      eyes of the public.” =

In the ultimate analysis we are  of  the  view  that  the  High  Court
cannot be faulted for punishing the appellant for  contempt  of  court.   No
interference is necessary with the impugned order.

2014 (March.Part) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41369
RANJANA PRAKASH DESAI, MADAN B. LOKUR

                                                                  REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                      CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1240 OF 2004


Ram Niranjan Roy                             …Appellant

Versus

State of Bihar and Ors.                            …Respondents


                           J  U  D  G  M  E  N  T


(SMT.) RANJANA PRAKASH DESAI, J.


1.    A petition was filed in public interest in the Patna High Court  being
C.W.J.C. No. 1311 of 2003 by Bihar Vyavsayik Sangharsh  Morcha  and  another
raising several issues relating to law and order problem  in  the  State  of
Bihar.  The State of Bihar, the Director General  of  Police  of  Bihar  and
others were made party respondents.   The  issues  raised  inter  alia  were
whether the  respondents  were  duty  bound  to  provide  safe  and  healthy
atmosphere for the proper development of the State or not  and  whether  the
inaction of the respondents was violative of fundamental  rights  guaranteed
under Articles 19 and 20 of  the  Constitution  of  India.   The  petitioner
inter alia sought direction to the respondents  to  take  measures  to  stop
exploitation of shopkeepers, dealers,  artisans,  labourers  and  industrial
units by officers and police personnel.

2.    The High Court issued notices to the  respondents  pursuant  to  which
they filed affidavits.  On 14/08/2003 the High Court directed  the  Director
General of Police to  make  a  list  of  officers  from  the  Station  House
Officers upto the Additional Director General of Police, of those  who  have
remained in their station for more than  four  years.   Relevant  paragraphs
from the High Court’s order could be quoted:

      “The court suggests the following measures as an ad interim exercise:


      a)    Let the Director General Police make out a list of officers from
      the Station House Officer upto  the  Additional  Director  General  of
      Police, of those who have remained in their station for more than four
      years.  This dossier is to be supported with information from  service
      record as to which officer throughout their  career  has  remained  at
      which station and for how long.  Officers who  have  remained  at  one
      station for over four years must see a posting out  within  six  weeks
      from today.  These would be  officers  below  the  rank  of  Inspector
      General of Police.  Staff below  the  SHOs  who  have  remained  at  a
      particular station beyond  three  years  will  be  identified  by  the
      District  heads  of  police  concerned  and  their  movement  will  be
      undertaken by the Director General of Police.


           It must be mentioned that  the  period  of  four  years  is  set
      because in the normal course  of  government  service,  transfers  and
      postings are made for officers if  they  have  been  at  a  particular
      station for more than three years.   This  order  obviously  does  not
      preclude the Director General of  Police  from  making  any  transfers
      should an officer have been at a posting for a lesser period, which is
      within normal administrative powers.”



3.    In December, 2003, the appellant, who was holding the post  of  Deputy
Superintendent of  Police,  Crime  Investigation  Department  (CID),  Bihar,
filed an intervention application being I.A.No.5588 of 2003.  The  appellant
claimed in the application that he was the President of  Bihar  Police  Seva
Sangh, a service association of members of Bihar Police Service.  He  stated
in the application that the transfers and postings of the officers of  Bihar
Police Service were done arbitrarily  in  violation  of  guiding  principles
framed by the  Home  Department  of  Government  of  Bihar.   The  appellant
referred to a Writ Application filed by him being C.W.J.C. No.12225 of  1999
against the State of  Bihar  for  an  order  directing  the  respondents  to
implement the said  guiding  principles.   He  stated  that  the  said  writ
application has been pending in the High Court for last  four  years  during
which the government has tried to  victimize  him  mala  fide.   He  further
stated that his application should be heard along with the C.W.J.C.  No.1311
of 2003.  He, therefore,  prayed  that  he  may  be  impleaded  in  C.W.J.C.
No.1311 of 2003.

4.    Admittedly, the appellant is posted at Patna for  several  years.   It
is clear from several orders that the High Court has passed in  this  matter
that while dealing with the question of law and order  situation  in  Bihar,
the High Court was looking into the State Government’s  policy  of  postings
and transfer of  police  officers,  obviously  because  that  has  a  direct
bearing on efficiency and rectitude  of  the  police  officers.    The  High
Court even recorded the statement  of  the  Advocate  General  that  certain
transfers of police officers are being effected.  The appellant was  unhappy
and disturbed about the task undertaken by the High Court.  This is  evident
from the first paragraph  of  his  intervention  application  where  he  has
referred to the order passed by the High Court directing the respondents  to
submit a list of officers who have not been removed from their  station  for
more than four years.  It is  this  that  made  him  intervene  in  C.W.J.C.
No.1311 of 2003.

5.    The appellant wanted his writ application pending in  the  Patna  High
Court to be heard with C.W.J.C. No.  1311  of  2003.   We  have,  therefore,
carefully gone through that petition.  The  appellant  wants  to  create  an
impression that he is fighting for the cause of police  officers  of  Bihar,
but a careful  reading  of  his  application  makes  it  clear  that  he  is
espousing his own cause.  He has stated that he is continuously  posted  for
seven years in  Cabinet  Vigilance  Department.   He  has  stated  that  his
posting in Criminal Investigation Department  is  wrong  and  he  should  be
posted as Sub Divisional Police Officer anywhere in Patna or  in  any  other
proper office such as traffic or transport department in Patna, so  that  he
may do government duties and  take over the responsibility as the  President
of Bihar Police Seva Sangh.  We shall advert to this  Seva  Sangh  a  little
later, but, suffice it to say at this stage  that  the  appellant’s  pending
writ application concentrates on his posting and he figures  in  the  prayer
clause also.

6.    From the impugned order it appears that on 27/01/2004,  the  appellant
appeared in-person before the High Court.  He shouted  and  told  the  court
that he was  intervener  and  that  the  High  Court  has  not  focused  its
attention on the wrong policies of transfers within the  police  department.
He raised his voice with impertinence and declared that the  High  Court  is
not taking up his case wherein he has challenged his  transfer  and  posting
made in the police department.  Learned Judges, then, asked him  whether  he
had been granted leave by the Director General  of  Police  to  present  his
case.  He again shouted at the court and stated  that  he  had  applied  for
leave but whether leave is granted to him or not is not the concern  of  the
court.  The High Court has observed that he could  not  show  to  the  court
that leave had been granted to him by the Police Headquarters to  argue  his
case in-person and challenge transfer policy of the police  department.  The
High Court has further observed that the appellant baited  the  court.    He
wanted his writ application to be considered out-of-turn on the ground  that
it was concerning transfers and  postings  of  police  officers.   The  High
Court,  therefore,  called  for  the   record,   perused   the   appellant’s
application and found out that it mainly related to his  own  transfer.  The
appellant, then, claimed to be an office bearer of Bihar Police  Seva  Sangh
and stated that the  Police  Manual  has  declared  him   a  member  of  the
protected staff and  he  has  immunity  from  transfers  and  he  cannot  be
touched.  He produced a letter addressed by a Cabinet Minister to the  Chief
Minister of Bihar questioning why he was transferred from one  establishment
to another, though, within the city.  The  said  letter  is  quoted  in  the
impugned order.  It appears from the impugned order that the  appellant  did
not show the slightest remorse nor regret and instead continued to bait  the
court and repeat that even the Minister had given  him  protection  and  had
granted stay of his transfer.  In view of this contumacious  behaviour,  the
High Court directed that the appellant may be  taken  into  custody  by  the
Court Officer and the Sergeant and sent to jail  as  punishment  for  a  day
i.e.  for twenty four hours.    His  intervention  application  came  to  be
rejected.  Aggrieved by  this  order,  the  appellant  has  approached  this
Court.

7.    The appellant  appeared in-person.  Looking to the importance  of  the
matter, we requested Mr.  Siddharth  Luthra,  learned  Additional  Solicitor
General, to assist  us.   As  usual,  Mr.  Luthra  has  rendered  remarkable
assistance to this Court.  We  heard  the  appellant  at  some  length.   He
submitted that he is not guilty of contempt of court.  He submitted that  he
has highest regard for the court and  he  never  shouted  in  the  court  as
stated in the impugned order.   He submitted that he  is  the  President  of
the Bihar Police Seva Sangh and is espousing the cause  of  police  officers
in general.  On a query made by this Court, whether the  Bihar  Police  Seva
Sangh is a registered society or whether it  has  got  any  recognition,  he
submitted that the application in that behalf is pending.  The Bihar  Police
Seva Sangh, however, has not received any recognition so far.  He  submitted
that the respondents have not refuted any of his contentions by  filing  any
affidavit in reply.  He drew our attention to Section 14 of the Contempt  of
Courts  Act,  1971  and  submitted  that  no  opportunity,  as  contemplated
therein, was given to him to make his defence.  He  submitted  that  he  had
filed an application for bail.  However, no order was  passed  thereon.   He
further submitted that the High Court has unnecessarily  cast aspersions  on
him.  He urged that the impugned order may be set aside.

8.    Mr. Luthra, learned Additional Solicitor General, on the  other  hand,
submitted that the appellant is guilty of contempt committed in the face  of
the High Court and his case is covered by the  judgment  of  this  Court  in
Leila David(6)   v.   State of Maharashtra and Others[1]  where  this  Court
has observed that when a contemnor disrupts the court proceedings  by  using
offensive language, it  is  permissible  to  adopt  summary  proceedings  to
punish him.  Mr. Luthra further submitted that the appellant  tried  to  get
his personal application tagged to the Public Interest  Litigation  petition
for his personal gain and he utilized a letter  of  a  Cabinet  Minister  to
overawe the court.  Besides, he produced  incorrect  copy  of  the  impugned
order in this Court.  He claimed that he had filed bail application when  no
such application is found  in  the  record.   He  has  committed  breach  of
undertaking given  in  the  affidavit  filed  in  this  Court.   Mr.  Luthra
submitted that no leniency should be shown to such a person and  the  appeal
may, therefore, be dismissed.

9.    We have extensively referred to the contents of the impugned order  of
the High Court with a purpose.  It reflects the appellant’s rude  behaviour.
 The intemperate language used by the  appellant  while  addressing  learned
Judges of the High  Court  is  most  objectionable  and  contumacious.   The
appellant  is  Deputy  Superintendent  of  Police.   He  claims  to  be  the
President of Bihar Police Seva Sangh.  A responsible police officer  is  not
expected to behave in such undignified and unruly manner in the  Court.   He
shouted at the Judges.  When they asked him whether the police  headquarters
had granted him any permission to argue his  case  in-person  and  challenge
transfer policy of the police department, he rudely  stated  that  that  was
not the concern of the court.   He  was,  however,  unable  to  produce  any
permission.  Thereafter, he told the court that his  application  should  be
heard along with Public Interest Litigation as it related  to  postings  and
transfers of police officers.  On scrutiny, it  was  found  that  it  mainly
related to his transfer.  Thus, he made a wrong statement before the  Court.
 He, then, stated that he is a protected staff member and has immunity  from
transfer and he cannot be  touched.   He  tried  to  overawe  the  court  by
producing a Cabinet  Minister’s  letter  addressed  to  the  Chief  Minister
recommending his case.  He did not show any remorse.  He did not tender  any
apology, but, continued his rude behaviour of  shouting  at  the  court  and
baiting the court.  By this behaviour he lowered the dignity  and  authority
of the High Court.  He challenged the majesty of the High Court  by  showing
utter disrespect to it.   Undoubtedly he  committed  contempt  of  the  High
Court in its presence and hearing.   He  is,  therefore,  guilty  of  having
committed contempt in the face of the High  Court.   His  case  is  squarely
covered by Section 14 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.

10.   In Re: Vinay Chandra Mishra[2], on a question put to him  by  a  Judge
of the Allahabad High Court, the contemnor, who  was  an  advocate,  started
shouting at the Judge and told him that the question  could  not  have  been
put to him and he would get the Judge transferred or  see  that  impeachment
motion is brought against him in Parliament.  He made more  such  derogatory
comments.  Learned Judge addressed a letter  to  the  Acting  Chief  Justice
narrating the incident.  The Acting Chief Justice forwarded  the  letter  to
the then Chief Justice of India.  This Court, then, issued a notice  to  the
advocate taking a view that there was a prima facie  case  of  the  criminal
contempt of the court.  This Court treated the  said  contempt  as  criminal
contempt committed  in  the  face  of  the  High  Court  and  sentenced  the
advocate.  Commenting on the contemnor’s conduct,  this  Court  observed  as
under:
      “To resent the questions asked by a Judge, to be disrespectful to him,
      to question his authority to ask the questions, to shout  at  him,  to
      threaten him with transfer and impeachment, to use insulting  language
      and abuse him, to dictate the order that he  should  pass,  to  create
      scenes in the court, to address him by  losing  temper  are  all  acts
      calculated to interfere with and obstruct the course of justice.  Such
      acts tend to overawe the court and to prevent it from  performing  its
      duty to administer justice. Such conduct brings the authority  of  the
      court and the administration of justice into disrespect and  disrepute
      and undermines and erodes the very  foundation  of  the  judiciary  by
      shaking the confidence of the people in the ability of  the  court  to
      deliver free and fair justice.”



      The above observations of this Court have a  bearing  on  the  present
case.

11.   In Ranveer Yadav   v.   State  of  Bihar[3]   the  appellant  and  the
other contemnors disrupted the court proceedings by aggressively  exchanging
heated words and created unpleasant scenes in the Court.   The  decorum  and
dignity of the court was so much threatened that the  Judge  was  forced  to
rise.  This Court held that the offending acts of the  appellant  constitute
contempt in the face of the court.  The relevant paragraph could be quoted.
      “The offending acts of the appellant constitute contempt in  the  face
      of court. When contempt takes place in the face of the court, peoples’
      faith in the administration of justice  receives  a  severe  jolt  and
      precious judicial time is wasted. Therefore, the offending acts of the
      appellant certainly come within the ambit of interference with the due
      course of judicial  proceeding  and  are  a  clear  case  of  criminal
      contempt in the face of the court.”



12.   The appellant’s contention that no opportunity was  given  to  him  to
make his defence must be rejected.   In Pritam  Pal    v.    High  Court  of
Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur,  through  Registrar[4],  while  dealing  with  the
nature and scope of power conferred upon this  Court  and  the  High  Court,
being courts of record under Articles 129 and 215  of  the  Constitution  of
India respectively, this Court observed that the said power is  an  inherent
power under which the Supreme  Court  and  the  High  Court  can  deal  with
contempt of itself.  The jurisdiction vested is a special  one  not  derived
from any other statute but derived only from Articles  129  and  215.   This
Court further clarified that the constitutionally  vested  right  cannot  be
either  abridged,  abrogated  or  cut  down  by  legislation  including  the
Contempt of Courts Act.

13.   In Leila David(6)    this Court has   discussed what  is  contempt  in
the face of the Court.  In   this case, the petitioners   made  contumacious
allegations in the writ petition and   supporting affidavits.  Notices  were
  issued to them   as to   why    contempt      proceedings    should    not
be  issued    against    them.    The    hearing  commenced.    The     writ
petitioners   disrupted   the   proceedings   by   using    very  offensive,
 intemperate   and   abusive   language   at   a   high pitch.  One  of  the
petitioners  stated  that  the  Judges  should  be  jailed   by   initiating
proceedings against them and threw footwear at the Judges.  The  petitioners
stood  by what they had said and done in the  Court.   One  of  the  learned
Judges felt that there was no need to issue notice to  the  petitioners  and
held them guilty of criminal contempt  of  the  court.   The  other  learned
Judge observed that the mandate of Section 14  of  the  Contempt  of  Courts
Act, 1971 must be followed before  sending  the  contemnors  to  jail.   The
question was, therefore,  whether  the  petitioners  were  entitled  to  any
opportunity of hearing.  The matter was thereafter  placed  before  a  three
Judge Bench.  The three Judge Bench resolved the difference of  opinion  and
observed as under:

      “Section 14 of the  Contempt  of  Courts  Act  no  doubt  contemplates
      issuance of notice and an opportunity to the contemnors to answer  the
      charges in the notice to satisfy the principles  of  natural  justice.
      However, where an incident of the instant nature  takes  place  within
      the presence and sight of the learned  Judges,  the  same  amounts  to
      contempt in the face of the Court and is required to be dealt with  at
      the time of the incident itself. This is necessary for the dignity and
      majesty of the courts to be maintained. When  an  object,  such  as  a
      footwear, is thrown at the Presiding Officer in  a  court  proceeding,
      the object is not to merely scandalise or humiliate the Judge, but  to
      scandalise the institution itself and thereby lower its dignity in the
      eyes of the public.”

14.   Thus, when a contempt is committed in the face of the  High  Court  or
the Supreme Court to scandalize or humiliate the Judge, instant  action  may
be necessary.  If the courts do not deal  with  such  contempt  with  strong
hand, that may result in scandalizing the institution thereby  lowering  its
dignity in the eyes of the public.  The courts exist for  the  people.   The
courts cherish the faith reposed in them by people.  To prevent  erosion  of
that faith, contempts committed in the face  of  the  court  need  a  strict
treatment.   The  appellant,  as  observed  by  the  High  Court   was   not
remorseful.  He did not file any affidavit  tendering  apology  nor  did  he
orally tell the High Court that he was remorseful and he  wanted  to  tender
apology.  Even in this Court he has not tendered apology.  Therefore,  since
the contempt was gross and it was committed in the face of the  High  Court,
learned Judges had to take immediate action to maintain honour  and  dignity
of the High Court.  There was  no  question  of  giving  the  appellant  any
opportunity to make his defence.  This submission  of  the  appellant  must,
therefore, be rejected.

15.    In  this  Court  also  the  appellant’s   behaviour   is   far   from
satisfactory.  He told us that he had filed an application for bail  in  the
High Court, but the High Court did not consider  it.  The  bail  application
attached at Annexure-A/6 to the petition is unsigned, supported by  unsigned
affidavit bearing no name of the lawyer.  We have gone  through  the  entire
record of the High Court and we find that there is no  bail  application  in
the record.  Still worse  is  the  tampering  of  the  impugned  order.  The
appellant has not filed the true copy of  the  impugned  order.   The  first
sentence of paragraph 4 of the copy of the  impugned  order  filed  in  this
Court  reads as under:

      “The intervenor who presents himself  in  person  otherwise  a  police
      officer didn’t shout at the Court that he is  an  intervenor  in  this
      case….”


      However, in the original impugned order  the said sentence   does  not
have the words ‘didn’t shout.’ It reads as under:
       “the intervenor who presents himself in person  otherwise  a  police
       officer shouted at the Court  that  he  is  an  intervenor  in  this
       case…….”

      Thus, the words ‘didn’t shout’  have   replaced  the  word  ‘shouted.’
When we asked for an explanation, the appellant  stated  that  there  is  no
tampering, but it is merely a  typing  error.   We  refuse  to  accept  this
explanation.   In this case, by replacing the word ‘shouted’  by  the  words
‘didn’t shout’ the appellant has changed the entire meaning of the  sentence
to suit his case that he did not shout in the court.  Thus, he is guilty  of
tampering with the High Court’s order and filing it  in  this  Court.   This
would, in our opinion, be criminal contempt as defined by  Section  2(c)  of
the Contempt of Court Act, 1971.  There is abundance of  judgments  of  this
Court on this issue.  This Court has taken a strict view  of  such  conduct.
We may usefully refer to Chandra Shashi   v.   Anil Kumar Verma[5] where  in
a transfer petition the contemnor had filed a forged experience  certificate
purportedly  issued  by  the  Principal  of  a  college  from  Nagpur.   The
Principal filed affidavit stating  that  the  said  certificate  is  forged.
This Court observed that an act which interferes or tends  to  interfere  or
obstructs or tends to  obstruct  the  administration  of  justice  would  be
criminal contempt as defined in Section 2(c) of the Contempt of Courts  Act,
1971.  This Court further observed that if recourse to  falsehood  is  taken
with oblique motive, the same would  definitely  hinder,  hamper  or  impede
even flow of justice and would prevent  the  courts  from  performing  their
legal duties as they are supposed to  do.   The  contemnor  was,  therefore,
suitably sentenced.

16.         In Re: Bineet Kumar Singh[6]  a forged/fabricated order of  this
court was used for the purpose of conferring some benefits  on  a  group  of
persons.  This Court took a strict  view  of  the  matter  and  observed  as
under:


      “The law of contempt of court is essentially  meant  for  keeping  the
      administration of justice pure  and  undefiled.  It  is  difficult  to
      rigidly define contempt. While on the one hand,  the  dignity  of  the
      court has to be maintained at all costs, it must also be borne in mind
      that the contempt jurisdiction is of a special nature  and  should  be
      sparingly used. The Supreme Court is the highest court of  record  and
      it is charged with the duties and responsibilities of  protecting  the
      dignity of the court. To discharge its obligation as the custodian  of
      the administration of justice in the country and as the highest  court
      imbued with supervisory and appellate jurisdiction over all the  lower
      courts and tribunals, it is inherently deemed to have  been  entrusted
      with the power to see that  the  stream  of  justice  in  the  country
      remains pure, that its course is not hindered  or  obstructed  in  any
      manner, that justice is delivered without fear or favour. To discharge
      this obligation, the Supreme Court  has  to  take  cognizance  of  the
      deviation from the path of justice.  The  sole  object  of  the  court
      wielding its power to punish for contempt is always for the course  of
      administration of justice. Nothing is more incumbent upon  the  courts
      of  justice  than   to   preserve   their   proceedings   from   being
      misrepresented, nor is there anything more pernicious when  the  order
      of the court is forged and produced to gain undue advantage.  Criminal
      contempt has been defined in Section 2(c) to  mean  interference  with
      the administration of justice in any manner. A false or misleading  or
      a wrong statement deliberately and wilfully made by  a  party  to  the
      proceedings to obtain a favourable order would undoubtedly  tantamount
      to interference with the due course of judicial  proceedings.  When  a
      person is found to have utilised an order of a court which he  or  she
      knows to be incorrect for conferring benefit on persons  who  are  not
      entitled to the same, the very utilisation of the fabricated order  by
      the person concerned would be sufficient to  hold  him/her  guilty  of
      contempt, irrespective of the  fact  whether  he  or  she  himself  or
      herself is the author of fabrication.”

      We respectfully concur with these observations.


17.   We shall now turn to the affidavit filed  by  the  appellant  in  this
Court.  He has  sworn  an  affidavit  stating  that  the  annexures  of  the
criminal appeal are the true copies of the originals and  the  facts  stated
in the criminal appeal are true to his knowledge.  As already noted  by  us,
the appellant has tampered with the  original  impugned  order.   He  stated
that he had filed a bail application in the High Court.   The  copy  of  the
said bail application filed in this  Court  is  unsigned  and  supported  by
unsigned affidavit bearing no name of the lawyer.   The  appellant  has  not
made the Registrar of the  Patna  High  Court  party  to  the  appeal.   The
Registrar could have clarified whether any bail application  was,  in  fact,
filed by the appellant.  In any case, we have  perused  the  record  and  we
find that there is no such bail application in the record.   Thus,  in  this
Court the appellant has filed a false affidavit.  This amounts  to  contempt
of this Court.

18.   Another very disturbing feature of this case is the  manner  in  which
the appellant flourished in the  High  Court  a  Cabinet  Minister’s  letter
addressed to the Chief Minister recommending his case.  We do  not  want  to
comment on the propriety of  the  Cabinet  Minister  in  addressing  such  a
letter to the Chief Minister in this case, though this Court has in  Prakash
Singh and ors.   v.   Union of India  and  ors[7]  sought  to  insulate  the
police from political interference.  In any case, the appellant  should  not
have tried to overawe the High Court  by  producing  the  said  letter.   We
deprecate this conduct.  We were also  taken aback  when  we  were  informed
that the appellant is the President of the  Bihar  Police  Seva  Sangh.   We
are, however, informed that membership of such association is  permitted  in
the State of Bihar even to the police officers.  However, the  fact  remains
that the said association is not registered.

19.   The appellant’s contention that since the respondents have  not  filed
affidavit, his case is unrebutted is without any merit.  A  contempt  matter
is essentially between the contemnor and the court.  On  the  basis  of  the
record and the attendant circumstances  the  court  has  to  decide  whether
there is any contempt or not.  No doubt, the respondents could  have   filed
an affidavit, but merely  because  there  is  no  affidavit,  the  contemnor
cannot escape his  liability.   The  facts  of  the  case  are  gross.   The
contempt is in the face of the  High Court.  The fact that  the  respondents
have not  filed  affidavit in reply does not dilute the  contempt  committed
by the appellant.

20.   In the ultimate analysis we are  of  the  view  that  the  High  Court
cannot be faulted for punishing the appellant for  contempt  of  court.   No
interference is necessary with the impugned order.  We  are  also  concerned
with the contempt of this Court committed by the appellant.  We  direct  the
appellant to pay a fine of Rs.25,000/-. The fine shall   be  deposited  with
the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee within  four  weeks  from  today,
failing which the appellant  shall  suffer  simple  imprisonment  for  seven
days.  The amount deposited by the appellant  may  be  utilized  for  issues
concerning juvenile justice.

21.   The appeal is disposed of in the afore-stated terms.


                                                          …….……………………………..J.
                                                     (Ranjana Prakash Desai)



                                                            ……………………………………J.
                                                            (Madan B. Lokur)
New Delhi;
March 31, 2014.

-----------------------
[1]    (2009) 10 SCC 337
[2]    (1995) 2 SCC 584
[3]    (2010) 11 SCC 493
[4]    1993 Supp (1) SCC 529
[5]    (1995) 1 SCC 421
[6]    (2001) 5 SCC 501
[7]    (2006) 8 SCC 1

-----------------------
22


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.