IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI Date of decision : 17.02.2009 CONT.PETITION (CRL.) 3 of 2009 IN RFA(OS) 3 of 2009 17.02.2009
COURT ON ITS OWN MOTION
SWARAN SINGH BANDA ...RESPONDENT Through: Mr.K.K.Bhuchar, Advocate CORAM:
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE SANJAY KISHAN KAUL HON?BLE MR. JUSTICE SUDERSHAN KUMAR MISRA
1. Whether the Reporters of local papers may be allowed to see the judgment? No
2. To be referred to Reporter or not? No
3. Whether the judgment should be No reported in the Digest?
SANJAY KISHAN KAUL, J. (Oral)
1. The respondent-contemnor is an appellant before us in RFA(OS) 3 of 2009. The appeal has been dismissed today.
2. One of the pleas raised by the counsel for the respondent is the contradictory pleas taken by the contemnor herein in the written statement, deposition before the Court and in the letters addressed to the LandDO. The contemnor sought to plead in the written statement that the property bearing No. B-42, Defence Colony, New Delhi was a HUF property but in the deposition before the Court stated to the contrary. Not only that, while communicating with the LandDO, the contemnor took a categorical stand that the interest in the property devolved on the plaintiff no.2 being the son of his deceased brother. It is these contradictions which have caused an inordinate delay in the trial of the suit. It has resulted in an unfortunate situation where the plaintiff no.1 passed away without enjoying her appropriate share in the property and her son (respondent no.1 in appeal) is living in a Gurudwara.
3. The appellant is an advocate though an aged one. He is fully familiar with the legal pleas and principles and the consequences of his conduct.
4. Learned counsel for respondent in appeal has referred to the judgment of the Supreme Court in Chandra Shashi v. Anil Kumar Verma; (1995) 1 SCC 421 to explain that the word ?interfere? in the context of the criminal contempt under the Contempt of Court Act, 1971 means any action which checks or hampers the functioning or hinders or tends to prevent the performance of duty. Thus, 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 the legal duties as they are supposed to do. The polluters of judicial firmament are required to be well taken care of to maintain the sublimity of court?s environment. A similar view has been expressed in Dhananjay Sharma v. State of Haryana and Ors; AIR 1995 SC 1795 where false affidavits had been filed. In Ram Autar Shukla v. Arvind Shukla; (1995) Supp (2) SCC 130, it was observed that the Contempt of Court Act, 1971 deals with any acts or conduct of the parties to the litigation or witnesses ?in any manner?. The tendency on the part of the contemner in his action or conduct to prevent the course of justice is the relevant fact. Any interference in the course of justice, any obstruction caused in the path of those seeking justice are an affront to the majesty of law and, therefore, the conduct is punishable as contempt of court. Learned Single Judge of this Court in Court on its own motion v. Kanwaljit S.Sareen and Ors; 138 (2007) DLT 682 has observed that a party taking recourse to fraud deflects course of judicial proceedings and same constitutes interference in administration of justice.
5. In view of the aforesaid plea and the factual matrix discussed in the appeal, we are satisfied that it is a fit case for issuance of a notice for criminal contempt to the respondent herein who has tried to pollute the course of justice and interfere with the same knowing the falsehood of his statements. The fact that he is an advocate makes the conduct of respondent all the more deplorable and the mere advanced age of the respondent should not, in our considered view, deter us from proceeding further in the matter.
6. We thus deem it appropriate to issue a notice to the respondent to show cause as to why he should not be proceeded against and punished for the criminal contempt of the Court.
7. Learned counsel for the contemnor accepts notice.
8. A copy of this Order be made available to the respondent and reply, if any, be filed within fifteen days from today.
9. List on 18.3.2009.
10. The contemnor to remain personally present in the Court on the next date of hearing.
SANJAY KISHAN KAUL, J.
FEBRUARY 17, 2009 SUDERSHAN KUMAR MISRA, J. dm
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