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Bhalchandra Gangadhar Ghate Vs. Pralhad Saduji Raghute and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1977CriLJ1490; 1976MhLJ711
AppellantBhalchandra Gangadhar Ghate
RespondentPralhad Saduji Raghute and ors.
Excerpt:
.....on impropriety. that object would stand defeated and frustrated if private negotiations of such settlements and eventual withdrawals of applications are permitted. there exists clearly high principle of public policy behind the initiation of such proceedings involving public interest in the matters of administration of justice. 1 for publishing matters which have a tendency as indicated above, to affect in bad taste the process of the court......apology.5. there is still another development which can be only attributed to the ignorance of the applicant-trust in the matters pending before us and being adjudicated in these proceedings. the applicant-trust by its chairman filed this application under section 12 of the contempt of courts act. prior to that it appears that certain notices were exchanged between the trust and opponent no. 1 with regard to the publication of issues which contained several allegations against the administration of the trust. now though the matter is pending adjudication, the trust purported to pass a resolution on 1-8-1975 concerning these proceedings by itself accepting unqualified apology from opponent no. 1 tendered to the trust and on the strength of that apology an application for permission to.....
Judgment:

Mosodkar, J.

1. These are proceedings initiated for contempt.

2. The Application alleged that the article written by opponent No. 1 in Souvenir called 'PRERNA' has a tendency to disrepute the high name of the judiciary. The article, it is stated, tries to make disrespectful reference to the decision rendered by this Court in Special Civil Application No. 1042 of 1972 where opponent No. 1 was the petitioner and his petition was dismissed though therein no mention is made of the same. This is main part of the charge and that concerns opponent No. 1 only. As far as other opponents they appear to have been impleaded because in the publication three of them have been shown to be the members of the Advisory Committee as part of the Editorial Board. That also appears to us wholly inadequate reason, for, the Chief Advisor, Ramjiwan Chaudhari has not been joined as opponent so also other persons named as members of the Editorial Board. Thus there is no allegation against opponents Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 nor any material to rope them in for the article of opponent No. 1.

3. The application, as far as those opponents are concerned, was completely misconceived and the same is dismissed.

4. As far as opponent No. 1 is concerned, undoubtedly, he has made reference in the article not to the judgment but to the supersession of the Judges in the Supreme Court and further in a manner which can be said to have a tendency to show disregard to the process of justice in High Court and Supreme Court, made references in the name of Jaiprakash Narayan. However, it is well settled that such expressions, which merely indicate coloured flare of language and which may have origin in an injured state of mind and as such unhealthy expression of personal sense of frustration though tantamount to contempt, would not by itself be the ground to take any serious view of the matter. The opponent No. 1 has submitted unqualified apologies and we have nothing to doubt his bona fides. Looking to the background of his case and his personal frustration as a writer, he has over stepped in expression. Matters of expression are personal in nature. Much depends on the training and culture of the maker. What may appear to a sophisticated mind as harsh, rough, rude and uncouth, may not be so to unsophisticated and even to angry, irritated, and brooding. There is nothing before us to hold that the opponent was actuated by desire to disrepute nor we are sure about his ability to express what he feels just or unjust Under these circumstances we have no hesitation in accepting his apology.

5. There is still another development which can be only attributed to the ignorance of the applicant-Trust in the matters pending before us and being adjudicated in these proceedings. The applicant-Trust by its Chairman filed this application Under Section 12 of the Contempt of Courts Act. Prior to that it appears that certain notices were exchanged between the Trust and opponent No. 1 with regard to the publication of issues which contained several allegations against the administration of the Trust. Now though the matter is pending adjudication, the Trust purported to pass a resolution on 1-8-1975 concerning these proceedings by itself accepting unqualified apology from opponent No. 1 tendered to the Trust and on the strength of that apology an application for permission to withdraw the proceedings before this Court against opponent No. 1 has been filed.

6. We feel that passing of such resolution by the Board of Improvement Trust clearly borders on impropriety.

7. Once this Court is seized of the matters with regard to contempt and the rule is issued, it must be made clear for all purposes that desire of the private party to continue or not to continue such proceedings is insignificant and is totally irrelevant. Purpose of proceedings in contempt is mainly to uphold the dignity of the Court and instil confidence in the mind of the people about the institutional Integrity. That object would stand defeated and frustrated if private negotiations of such settlements and eventual withdrawals of applications are permitted. There exists clearly high principle of public policy behind the initiation of such proceedings involving public interest in the matters of administration of justice.

8. The supremacy and the majesty of the Court of justice should, of necessity, be scrupulously guarded. Similarly the foundations of the public faith and of the parties to the cause should not be impaired by any prejudicial steps concerning the matters pending adjudication before the Court. Further if a party brings to the notice of the Court any remiss transgression or attack on these principles that affect or un sully the clear flow of administration of justice, it is the Court which gets concerned with the matter and private interest should of necessity cannot affect proceedings in contempt. It should be emphasized that the, proceedings in contempt by very nature are not nor can be permitted to be initiated nor our jurisdiction involved to settle or satisfy the sense of private injury. From this follows that the process once begun cannot be recalled by private arrangements and acceptance of apologies privately out of the Court by the applicant.

9. What exactly has been done and what appears to have been done from the resolution of the applicant-Trust is that after the impugned article wag published there was some correspondence and eventually the Trust filed these proceedings and during the pendency and after the notices were issued purported to accept apologies tendered to the Trust by the opponent No. 1 before us without any reference whatsoever to this Court Whole thing has a look of casuarinas and only can legitimately be inferred to be an unwise decision being an outcome of some misapprehension about the nature of the proceedings before us. We do not, however, take any serious note of this conduct as Mr. Mudliar, the learned Advocate appearing for the applicant-Trust, has tendered unconditional apology and we feel that the same is bona fide and we have no hesitation in accepting the same.

10. In the result, we discharge the rule having accepted the apology of the applicant for passing the resolution about contempt matter pending in this Court and the apology of opponent No. 1 for publishing matters which have a tendency as indicated above, to affect in bad taste the process of the Court. We have already dismissed the application against opponents Nos. 2 to 5. Under these circumstances, we make no orders as to costs.


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