1. This is an application for leave to appeal to His Majesty in Council and has been filed by one Radhey Lal. He had applied to us praying that one Niranjan Nath should be dealt with and punished according to law for contempt of the insolvency Court of Agra. On 2nd October 1940 See : AIR1941All95 we decided the matter and held that Niranjan Nath was not guilty of any contempt and we refused to punish Niranjan Nath. Radhey Lal has filed the present application, and the submission is that the case fulfills the requirements of Section 109(c), Civil P.C. In Kapildeva Malaviya v. Chief Justice and Judges of High Court, Allahabad : AIR1935All811 , a Bench of this Court held that proceedings for contempt of the High Court are in the exercise of the inherent jurisdiction of the Court and are of a criminal nature. Several authorities of various Courts were reviewed in that ease and the consensus of opinion was that the sentences passed in such matters amounted in effect to a general committal for contempt and were of a punitive character. We also hold the same view, and so far as the contemplated appeal to His Majesty in Council has reference to our refusing to punish the opposite party, Niranjan Nath, for contempt, it is clear that the jurisdiction that we exercised was a jurisdiction of a criminal nature and not of a civil nature at all. The provisions of the Civil Procedure Code therefore cannot be applicable.
2. It is then contended that while we refused to punish Niranjan Nath we further passed an order that the criminal case pending against Radhey Lal in the Court of the Magistrate should not be stayed. We were of the opinion that in the circumstances of the case it was not desirable that the criminal complaint should be stayed. The submission on behalf of the applicant is that the refusal to stay the criminal complaint is a matter of great importance to Radhey Lal and that so far as that order is concerned, the applicant is entitled to obtain leave from us. Here again we are of the opinion that we exercised jurisdiction of a criminal nature and the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code do not apply. We might further say that the applicant has to satisfy us, even if the provisions of Section 109(c), Civil P.C., applied, that the matter is a fit one for appeal to His Majesty in Council. The expression 'fit one for appeal to His Majesty in Council' has been interpreted in several cases and the meaning is that the question should be either of great general importance to the public at large or of great private importance to the particular litigant and that the-matter was not measurable in money. We fail to understand how it can be said that a refusal to stay a criminal complaint can be said to be a matter of great private importance to the particular accused in the ease.
3. Our attention was drawn to the case in Andre Paul Terence Ambard v. Attorney-General of Trinidad and Tobago ('36) 23 A.I.R. 1936 P.C. 141. In this case their Lordships of the Privy Council on special leave interfered with an order of the supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago by which a certain person was directed to pay a fine of 25 for contempt of Court. It was held by their Lordships that there seemed no reason for limiting the general prerogative of the Crown to review all judicial decisions of Courts of Record in the dominions overseas, whether civil or criminal. Their Lordships in that case had not before them the question whether Section 109(c), Civil P.C., or any analogous provision of any other country was applicable to the facts or not. They held, that the general prerogative of the Crown was not in any way limited. If the applicant is in any manner dissatisfied with the order passed by this Court, he can, if he is so advised, apply for special leave. We hold the view that the present application is not maintainable and we accordingly dismiss it.