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Dr. Ganga Baksh Singh Vs. Dr. J.C. Sharan S/O Late Pt. Ramlal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1964CriLJ362
AppellantDr. Ganga Baksh Singh
RespondentDr. J.C. Sharan S/O Late Pt. Ramlal and ors.
Excerpt:
- - having given my earnest consideration to the arguments of the learned counsel, i am not satisfied that there is any substance in this application. (2) the board may direct that the name of any person against whom an order has been made under sub-section (1) shall be entered or re-entered, as the case may be, after having satisfied itself that due to lapse of time or otherwise disability mentioned in sub-section (1) above has ceased to have any force. the committee derived its mandate from the board and the board could withdraw it at any time it liked. i find it somewhat difficult to understand this argirment as well......national homeopathic medical collage, lucknow (2) dr. daya nand, member u. p. homeopathic medicine board, lucknow and (3) dr. a. p. arora, member, u. p. homeopathic medicine board, lucknow.the facts giving rise to this application may be briefly stated as follows:on the 7th of february, 1961 an application signed by a number of persons was made to the registrar, homeopathic medicine board, u. p. lucknow alleging that dr. j. c. sharma, opposite party no. 1 who was principal of the national homoeopathic college, lucknow and a member of the management board of the said cojiegei, had obtained scholarship from the u. p. government for higher studies by making certain false representations regarding his qualifications and had also succeeded in securing his post in national homeopathic.....
Judgment:
ORDER

N.U. Beg, J.

1. This is an application Under Section 3 of the Contempt of Courts Act. The applicant is Dr. Ganga Baksh Singh and the opposite parties are (1) Dr. J. C. Sharma, Principal, National Homeopathic Medical Collage, Lucknow (2) Dr. Daya Nand, Member U. P. Homeopathic Medicine Board, Lucknow and (3) Dr. A. P. Arora, Member, U. P. Homeopathic Medicine Board, Lucknow.

The facts giving rise to this application may be briefly stated as follows:

On the 7th of February, 1961 an application signed by a number of persons was made to the Registrar, Homeopathic Medicine Board, U. P. Lucknow alleging that Dr. J. C. Sharma, opposite party No. 1 who was principal of the National Homoeopathic College, Lucknow and a member of the Management Board of the said coJIegei, had obtained scholarship from the U. P. Government for higher studies by making certain false representations regarding his qualifications and had also succeeded in securing his post in National Homeopathic College, Lucknow in a similar fashion. On the 25th September, 1962 a general meeting of the U. P. Homeopathic Board was held to consider this matter. In this meeting it was unanimously resolved that a com-mittae consisting of Dr. H. P. Sharma and Dr. S. P. Shukla, members of the Board and a third person possessing administrative or judicial experience be appointed by the Chairman of the. Board Under Section 36 of the U. P. Homeopathic Medicine Act, 1951 (Act No. VIII of 1952) read with Section 39 of the same Act, to enquire into thei allegations made against Dr. J. C. Sharma and submit its report to the Board.

In accordance with the said resolution, Shri B. N. Chawdhari, a retired District Judge was appointed as a third member of the committee. He acted as the Chairman of the said committee. The, committee started functioning and on the 3rd of January, 1963, it framed charges against Dr. J. C. Sharma, Opposite Party No. 1. In the meantime a new Board had been constituted. On the 7th January, 1963 nine members of the newly constituted Homeopathic Medicine Board made another application Under Section 36 of the U. P. Homeopathic Medicine Act, 1951 for a reconsideration of the previous resolution of the Board dated the 25th of September, 1962, on the ground that the said resolution had been passed in a hurried manner.

2. On the 18th of January, 1963 Dr. J. C. Sharma, opposite party No. 1 moved a writ petition in this Court (Writ Petition No. 33 of 1963) praying as follows:-

(a) That a writ of prohibition may b issued to the respondents 3 to 5 (Sri B. N. Choudhari, Dr. H. P. Sharma and Dr. S. P. Shukla) prohibiting them from proceeding with the enquiry against the petitioner.

(b) That a writ of certiorari may be issued against the respondents 3 to 5 (Sri B. N. Chowdhari, Dr. H. P. Sharma and Dr. S. P. Shukla) ordering them to produce the charge sheet dated January 3, 1963 and the same may be quashed by this Hon'ble Court.

(c) That a writ of mandamus may be issued to the respondent No. 2 (The Chairman' Board of Homeopathic Medicine, U. p., Lucknow) commanding him not to give effect to its resolution No. 18 dated September 25, 1962 and to proceed against the petitioner according to law.

It was also prayed that the Inquiry before the committee be stayed.

This application was presented before Kailash Prassd, J. who ordered that the writ petition might be put up after 14 days. So far as the prayer for interim stay is concerned the learned Judge refused to grant it. The proceedings before the committee were, therefore, allowed to be continued. On the 20th April, 1963 Dr. A. P. Arora, Opposite Party No. 3 and Dr. Daya Nand, opposite party No. 2, moved a resolution in a meeting of the Board that a new enquiry committee bet appointed from amongst the present members of the Board replacing the previous enquiry committee which consisted of Shri B. N. Chowdhari, Dr. H. P. Sharma and Dr. S. P. Shukla. This resolution was moved by opposite parties Nos. 2 and 3 at the instance of Dr. J. C. Sharma, opposite party No. 1. The case of the petitioner is that the above acts of opposite parties Nos. 1, 2 and 3 constitute contempt of Court punishable Under Section 3 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1951 Act 32 of 1952).

3. I have heard the learned Counsel for the petitioner at length before issuing notice. Having given my earnest consideration to the arguments of the learned Counsel, I am not satisfied that there is any substance in this application. An application Under Section 3 of the; Contempt of Courts Act is maintainable in this Court only if the authority the contempt of which is committed is a Court within the meaning of the term as fsed In the said Act The further condition precedent to entertain-ability of such an application is that the Court concerned should be a Court subordinate to the High Court. The first question, therefore, that arises in this case is whether a committee appointed Under Section 36 of the U. P. Homeopathic Medicine Act, 1951 to submit its report to the Board is a Court within the meaning of that term as used in the Contempt of Courts Act.

Section 36 of the said Act provides as follows:-

36 (1). The Board may prohibit the entry In, or order the removal from, the register of the name of any homeopath-

(a) who has been sentenced by a court in India to imprisonment for an offence declared by the State1 Government to involve -such moral turpitude as would render the entry or continuance of his name in the register undesirable, or

(b) whom the Board or a Committee specially authorized for the purpose after enquiry (at which opportunity has been given to him to be heard in his defence and to appear either in person or by counsel, vakil, pleader or attorney, and which may in the discretion of the Board, be held in camera) has found guilty of professional misconduct or other infamous conduct by a majority of at least two-thirds of the members present and voting at the meeting.

(2) The Board may direct that the name of any person against whom an order has been made under Sub-section (1) shall be entered or re-entered, as the case may be, after having satisfied itself that due to lapse of time or otherwise disability mentioned in Sub-section (1) above has ceased to have any force.

The above provision makes it quite clear that the function of the committee which in the present case was appointed Under Section 36(1)(b) of the U. P. Homeopathic Medicine Act was merely to make an enquiry into the conduct of opposite party No. 1 and submit its report to the Board. After the said report is submitted to the Board, it is open to the Board to direct that the name of any person against whom the report has been submitted be removed from the register of homeopaths maintained by the1 Board. It is, therefore, obvious that the committee appointed Under Section 36 (1)(b) of the, U. P. Homeopathic Medicine Act, is merely in the nature of a fact finding commission which is entrusted with the task of making investigation into questions at issue and submitting its conclusions thereon before the Board in order to enable the Board to take such further action in the matter of the preservation or removal of the name of the person concerned as it considers proper in the circumstances of the case. No doubt, when giving these findings, the committee would be performing certain functions which are analogous to that of a Court. They, however, would not have the effect of converting such a committee into a Court as envisaged in Section 3 of the Contempt of Courts Act.

4. learned Counsel for the petitioner, however, argued that such a committee would be a Court within the meaning of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1952, In support of his submission, he relied on a Bench case of the Patna High Court reported in Jyoti Narayan v. Brijnandan Sinhar air 1954 Pat 289. This case, no doubt, supports his contention. It would, however, appear that this case was taken up in appeal before the Supreme Court, and the view taken by the learned Judges in the said case was overruled by their Lordships of the Supreme Court. The decision of the Supreme Court is reported in Brajnandan Shinha v. Jyoti Narain (S) : 1956CriLJ156 and the law laid down by their Lordships is summarised in the head note as follows:-

The definitions- of the words 'Judge1 and 'Court of justice in Sees. 19 and 20 of the Penal Code indicate that the pronouncement of a definitive judgment is considered the essential 'sine qua non' of a Court and unless and until a binding and authoritative judgment can be pronounced by a person or body of persons it cannot be predicated that he or they constitute a Court.

It is clear, therefore, that in order to constitute a Court In the strict sense of the term, an essential condition is that the Court should have, apart from having some of the trappings of a judicial tribunal, power to give a decision or a definitive judgment which has finality and authoritativeness which are the essential tests of a judicial pronouncement.

These tests must be applied for determining what is a Court strictly so-called within the connotation of the term as used in the Contempt of Courts Act'

Applying the above test to the present case, I have no doubt in my mind that a committee of enquiry constituted Under Section 36 of the U. P. Homoeopathic Medicine Act, 1951 is not a Court within that meaning of the term as used In Section 3 of the Contempt of Courts Act Such a committee, as I have observed above, merely arrived at certain findings in Its report which is submitted to the Board for its consideration. After considering It, the Board may take further action on its basis. The Board is not bound by the conclusions arrived at by the committee nor is it incumbent on the Board to take any punitive action in the nature of the removal of the name of the person concerned from the register on the basis of the recommendation made by the committee. In fact, the committee does not impose any punishment at all nor does; it suggest any punishment. No show cause notice is issued by the committee. A report is placed before the Board only to assist it in the matter of the determination of the nature of action that it should take in the particular case with regard to the preservation of the name of the person concerned in the register maintained by the Board. The report made by such a committee cannot, therefore, be characterized as a decision or a definitive judgment clothed with the qualities of finality and airthoritativeness which are the essential features of a judicial pronouncement.

5. learned Counsel for the applicant also relied on the provisions of Section 39 of the U. P. Homoeopathic Medicine Act I which runs as follows:-

For the purpose of any enquiry held Under Clause (b) of Sub-section (1) of Section 36, the Board or the Committee, as the case may be, shall exercise the powers of a Commissioner appointed under the Public Servants (Inquiries) Act, 1850, and the provisions of Sees. 5, 8 to 10, 14 to 16, 19 and 20 of the said Act shall, so far as may be, appely to: every such inquiry and appeal.

Special emphasis is laid on Section 8 of the Public Servants (Inquiries) Act, 1850 which lays down that the Commissioners shall have the same power of punishing contempts and obstructions to their proceedings, as is given to Civil and Criminal Courts by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898.

They mere fact that certain provisions of the Public servants (Inquiries) Act have been made applicable to proceedings conducted by the committee appointed Under Section 36 (1)(b) of the U. P. Homoeopathic Medicine Act does not have the effect of making that committee a Court within the meaning of Section 3 of the Contempt of Courts Act. Section 5 relates to the levelling of the charge by the accuser and specifies the penalty for false accusatton. Section 8 relates to the powers of the Commissioners in regard to contempts and obstructions to the proceedings tefore them and for the summoning of the witnesses, for the production of the documents and discharge of other similar functions. Section 9 specifies the penalties for disobedience of any lawful process issued by the Commissioners. Section 10 lays down that copy of the charge should be furnished to the accused. Sees. 14 to 16 relate to the liecord of the evidence of the parties, and to the defence and examination of the accused and the witnesses. Section 19 lays down that if the accused makes an oral defence land exhibits no documents, the enquiry shall end with his defence and if he records a written defence or exhibits evidence, the prosecutor shall be entitled to a reply and may also give evidence to contradict the defence. Suction 20 relates to the power of the Commissioners to lament the charge. It is, therefore, obvious that all the above provisions of the Public Servants (Inquiries) Act, j 1850 which are made applicable to the proceedngs Under Section 36 of the U. P. Homoeopathic Medicine Act are of I a procedural nature. They relate to a stage before the judgment is pronounced.

The test, however, of the definitive nature of the judgment is not merely the procedure to be adopted by an authority in arriving at Its conclusion but also the substantive consequences that flow from the pronouncement of the said judgment. These consequences spring from the pronouncement of the said judgment They are subsequent to It. On the other hand, the procedure that leads to the pronouncement of the judgment precedes it. The judgment pronounced as a result of following a particular procedure might be a judgment, but might not necessarily be a definitive judgment. In the present case, the, report submitted by the committee, as I have observed above, is merely to be placed before the Board to enable the Board to make up its own mind and cannot, therefore, be characterised as a definitive judgment. The contention of the learned Counsel for the applicant in this regard must, therefore, be repelled.

6. There is another hurdle also in they way of the petitioner. Even if the committee in question be presumed to be a Court - which, in my opinion it is not - the committee cannot be considered to be an authority subordinate to the High Court. The subordination contemplated in Section 3 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1952 is a judicial subordination. The findings of the committee do not come up before the High Court under any statute by way of appeal, reference or revision. Even if it is considered to be a tribunal in the broad sense of the word, the High Court would merely possess powers of superintendence over ; such a committee while exercising its Judicial functions. An authority might be under the superintendence of the High Court without being subordinate to it. In the present case, in my opinion, it cannot be said that the committee constituted Under Section 36(1)(b) of the U. P. Homoeopathic Medicine Act is a body subordinate to the High Court. Reference) in this connection might be made to a Bench case of this Court reported In State of Uttar Pradesh v. Ratan Shukla (S) : AIR1956All258 .

7. Apart from the above preliminary objections, I am further of opinion that even on merits much cannot be said In support of this application. The gravamen of the charge levelled against the opposite parties 1 to 3 is that they proposed a resolution in the Board asking the latter to reconsider its previous resolution of the 25th September, 1963 constituting the present committee Under Section 36 of the U. P. Homoeopathic Medicine Act. If the Board had power to pass the said resolution, they had also the power to amend, modify and even to cancel it. The committee derived its mandate from the Board and the Board could withdraw It at any time it liked. The committee was the creation of the Board and the Board could by its action paralyse the committee when it desired to do so by passing a resolution to that effect. I do not see how a Board functioning under the U. P. Homeopathic Medicine Act while considering a resolution for a reconsideration of Its own previous resolution, could be said to be committing any offence of the nature of contempt of Courts.

8. The last contention of the learned Counsel for the petitioner was that the action of the opposite parties constituted a contempt of the High Court In as much a? the Kailash Prasad, J. had refused to stay the proceedings. I find it somewhat difficult to understand this argirment as well. The High Court had passed no orders restraining the Board from passing any resolution or from reconsidering any resolution already passed by it previously. In the writ petition filed by Dr. J. C. Sharma, opposite party No. 1, a prayer was made for the issue of anInterim injunction restraining the committee from proceeding with the enquiry. This prayer was rejected by a learned Judge of this Court. The order of the Court had merely a negatiya effect. There was no positive order passed by this Court directing the Board to do or not to do any act. I am, therefore, of opinion that any attempt on the part of the Board to reconsider its previous resolution cannot by any stretch of imagination, be construed to be a contempt of the order passed by this Court rejecting the prayer made by opposite party No. 1 to issue an interim injunction against the committee.

9. No other argument was advanced before me.

10. I find no substance in this application. I accordingly dismiss it summarily.


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