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Dr. Laxmi NaraIn Vs. Jia Lal JaIn and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectContempt of Court
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberContempt Appln. No. 131 of 1974
Judge
Reported inAIR1975All213
ActsContempt of Courts Act, 1971 - Sections 2
AppellantDr. Laxmi Narain
RespondentJia Lal JaIn and anr.
Advocates:A.K. Yog, Adv.
DispositionApplication dismissed
Excerpt:
contempt of court - decree - section 2 of contempt of courts act, 1971 - suit of permanent injunction dismissed - decree granted by lower appellate court - stay against the order of decree - held, not obeying the decree order when the stay is granted does not amount to contempt of court. - .....of the vaish degree college. shamli. the suit was dismissed. lower appellate court allowed the appeal and decreed the suit directing defendants 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 not to interfere with the plaintiff's functioning and discharging his duties as principal of the vaish degree college till his services were validly terminated. defendants came to this court in appeal. the appeal was allowed so far as defendants 1 and 5 were concerned, and the decree was maintained against defendants 2, 4, 6 and 7. opposite party no. 2 in the present application was defendant no. 7 in the suit. opposite party no. 1 in the present case was not a defendant in the suit but he has been impleaded on the ground that he had been described in the memorandum of appeal as secretary of the college. it is alleged that.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Hari Swarup, J.

1. This is an application under Section 12 of the Contempt of Courts Act. The plaintiff had instituted a suit for ,a permanent injunction to restrain the defendants from interfering with the plaintiff's functioning as Principal of the Vaish Degree College. Shamli. The suit was dismissed. Lower appellate court allowed the appeal and decreed the suit directing defendants 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 not to interfere with the plaintiff's functioning and discharging his duties as Principal of the Vaish Degree College till his services were validly terminated. Defendants came to this Court in appeal. The appeal was allowed so far as defendants 1 and 5 were concerned, and the decree was maintained against defendants 2, 4, 6 and 7. Opposite party No. 2 in the present application was defendant No. 7 in the suit. Opposite party No. 1 in the present case was not a defendant in the suit but he has been impleaded on the ground that he had been described in the memorandum of appeal as Secretary of the College. It is alleged that on 31st July, 1974, the plaintiff-applicant sent telegrams to opposite parties asking them to hand over to the plaintiff the records, keys and other properties of the College. Later on a telegram was sent to opposite party No. 2 to hand over to the applicant the college money and a list of records of the College. On 2-8-74 opposite party No. 1 sent a letter to the applicant stating that the telegram was meaningless and vague, that the result of the second appeal pending in the High Court was not yet known to him and he was contacting his counsel. He further 'asked the plaintiff to contact him on the 12th. But on 5th August 1974, the defendants went to the Supreme Court and moved an application for special leave to appeal against the High Court's decree and another application for grant of an interim order staying operation of the decree in the suit. The Supreme Court on 26-8-74 granted special leave to file the appeal and stayed operation of the High Court's decree.

2. Now it is alleged that as the applicant was not allowed to function as Principal of the College between the period when the High Court decided the appeal and the period when Supreme Court granted the stay, the opposite parties had committed contempt of the court by disobeying the decree of the High Court. There is no allegation however in the affidavit that the applicant had ever gone to the college to function as the Principal. Only telegrams were sent requiring opposite parties to hand over to him the records, keys, etc. It is not understandable how this could be done without the applicant's going to the College. Further, from the letter of 2-8-74 written by opposite party No. 1 it appears that till then he had no knowledge of the High Court's decree. On 5-8-74, application for special leave had been moved in the Supreme Court. The matter had since then become sub-judice. Ultimately, the Supreme Court granted leave to appeal and also stayed the operation of the decree.

3. Every judgment-debtor has a right to challenge the decree in a supeirior court and to obtain the stay of its operation. If he proceeds to obtain such an order, it does not mean that he intends to disobey the decree till the operation of the decree is stayed. Wilful disobedience of an order of injunction cannot be inferred from the inaction of the Institution to invite the decree-holder to come and take charge of the office. The circumstances established in the case are not sufficient for drawing the conclusion that the opposite parties had either intended or actually disobeyed the decree of this Court.

4. Further, the applicant could have put his decree into execution and if the execution court had found that the judgment-debtor had opportunity to obey the decree and had not obeyed it, the court, could have taken coercive measures against the opposite parties. Contempt proceedings are not meant to pressurise judgment-debtors.

5. The application is rejected.


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