M.P. Saxena, J.
1. This civil contempt petition arises out of an order dated 3-5-1973 passed in Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 7898 of 1972. It may be stated here that notices of it have not been issued so far and the question is whether it should be done or not. Since the learned Counsel for the petitioner has argued the matter at great length it is necessary to narrate the circumstances in which this application has been moved.
2. The appellant was appointed as Labour Welfare Officer in M/s. Upper Doab Sugar Mills Ltd. Shamli (hereinafter called the Mill) sometime in the year 1952 and was confirmed in 1953. According to him, he risked the displeasure of the Management of the mill with the result that on 28-6-1969 the Management terminated his services. Approval of the Commissioner was also obtained on 24-1-1969. Feeling aggrieved by this order the applicant preferred an appeal before the State of U.P. but unsuccessfully. Against this order of rejection by the State Government, the applicant filed a Writ Petition No. 2957 of 1969 which was allowed by a Bench of this Court and the appeal was remanded to the State Government for fresh disposal. This judgment was passed on 8-1-1972. On 21-10-1972 the State Government allowed the appeal and set aside the order of termination and directed that he should be treated as having been in service of the mill all through. The Mill filed a writ petition No. 7898 of 1972 against this order which was admitted on 14-12-1972 by a Division Bench of this Court. On the same day stay order was passed in the following terms:
The operation of the order of the State Government dated October 21. 1972. is stayed meanwhile provided the petitioner furnishes within one month a bank guarantee of the amount of the salary of the opposite party No. 3 which become due upto November, 1972, and deposits the salary for the month of December, 1972, by the end of that month and continues to deposit the salary in respect of succeeding months by the end of each month with the Regional Conciliation Officer, Muzaffamagar. Half of the amount of the salary relating to the period December 1972 and thereafter will be refundable to the opposite party No. 3 every month in cash without furnishing security and the remaining half will be refundable to him on his furnishing security for that amount to the satisfaction of the Regional Conciliation Officer.
3. Thereafter the applicant moved an application for vacating the stay order on which the order was modified on 3-5-1973, The relevant portion of the order reads as follows:
Heard counsel for the parties. In my opinion the order passed by this Court on 14th December, 1972. requires to be modified. I accordingly substitute that order by the following:
Operation of State Government order dated October 21, 1972, shall remain stayed meanwhile provided the petitioner furnishes bank guarantee for the amount of salary and other emoluments due upto November 1972 to which Sri Narain Singh would have been entitled to, had he continued in the service of the petitioner, throughout with the Deputy Labour Commissioner, Meerut. in calculating the amount of bank guarantee to be furnished before the Deputy Labour Commissioner the amount of Rs. 34,000/- in respect of which bank guarantee to the satisfaction of the Regional Conciliation Officer has already been furnished shall be accounted for. The petitioner should further deposit the salary and other emoluments that have become payable to Sri Narain Singh after November 1972 and would become payable hereinafter as if he continues in service with the Deputy Labour Commissioner, Meerut. Salary and other emoluments for the period December 1972 to 30th June, 1973 should be deposited with the Deputy Labour Commissioner by 7th July, 1973. The salary and emoluments for the month of July 1973 would be deposited with the Deputy Labour Commissioner by 7th August, 1973, and that for subsequent months by the 7th of the following month. If the petitioner has already deposited any cash with the Regional Conciliation Officer, he may withdraw the same and after making it upto the requisite amount deposit it with the Deputy Labour Commissioner, Meerut. The Deputy Labour Commissioner shall pay half of the amount so deposited by the petitioner to Sri Narain Singh, opposite party No. 3. Sri Narain Singh will further be entitled to withdraw the remaining amount on furnishing adequate security for its refund in case writ petition ultimately succeeds. This security will also be to the satisfaction of the Deputy Labour Commissioner, Meerut.
4. I further clarify that in this order the expression salary and 'emoluments' means the amount of salary, dearness allowance and Bonus payable to the employees after making deduction for income tax and the provident fund. In accordance with the rules, the amount of income-tax and provident fund so deducted by the employer shall be remitted to the income-tax and provident fund Authorities.'
5. The applicant's contention is that the opposite parties represent the Management and were responsible for depositing the amount so ordered. They have wilfully and knowingly not deposited the amount in the light of the Court's order with a view to harass the applicant. Instances have also been given to show in what respect the order has been disobeyed. The learned Counsel for the applicant has contended that the opposite parties have committed 'civil contempt' by wilful breach of an undertaking given to the court and by wilful disobedience of the said order or process of the Court.
6. I have given my anxious consideration to the whole matter and in my judgment the contention carries no force. Case of wilful breach of an undertaking has not even been pleaded in the application. In fact, no undertaking was given by the opposite parties to the court nor the order of the court is based on any undertaking, The court passed the stay order subject to certain conditions and made it clear that 'the operation of State Government's order dated October 21, 1972, shall remain stayed meanwhile provided the petitioner furnishes bank guarantee....' The word 'provided' is very significant and clearly connotes that if the condition is not fulfilled, the stay order shall stand vacated. I am reluctant to agree with the contention of the learned Counsel for the applicant that such an inference could be drawn if it was specifically stated in the order that the stay order shall stand vacated if any of the conditions is not fulfilled. In my judgment this conclusion is amply borne out from the use of the word 'provided'.
7. The learned Counsel for the applicant has further urged that by means of the said order the opposite parties were given an option either to deposit the amount or to forgo stay order and once they opted to deposit it, they will be deemed to have given an undertaking to the court that they will continue to comply with the order in full. I am unable to find favour even with this contention because the court never put the opposite parties to any option. It simply passed a conditional stay order leaving' it entirely to the discretion of the opposite party to comply with it and avail of the stay or to forgo stay. Whenever they fail to comply with it the stay order will stand vacated. Even if the opposite parties opted to comply with the order they cannot be said to have given any express or implied undertaking. At any moment they can opt not to deposit the amount and its consequences will be that the stay order will stand vacated. No other inference is possible from the said order. Therefore, even if the opposite parties have not fully complied with the order they cannot be said to have committed any contempt. The penalty for non-compliance is already contemplated by the order and it is vacation of the stay order.
8. Similarly the second contention that the opposite parties have committed wilful disobedience of the order or process of the court carries no force. I fail to understand what process of the court has been disobeyed. The court passed a conditional order. If the condition has not been fulfilled, the stay order will stand vacated. The consequences of non-compliance are already provided in the order. If the opposite parties chose to comply with the order for some time they can very well give up the benefit of stay by not fulfilling the condition at a later stage. I am making this observation without going into the merit of the question whether the stay order is being fully complied with or not. I am of the view that even if the opposite parties have not complied with the order, no contempt can be said to have been committed by them. Lastly, the opposite parties can very well remain under the impression that if they do not comply with the court's order, they will simply be deprived of the benefit of stay. I am, therefore, in judgment that no case of contempt is at all made out and no notice can be issued to the opposite party.
9. The application is accordingly rejected.