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Kalloo Mal Visheshwar Prasad and anr. Vs. Secretary to Government of U.P. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1974CriLJ529
AppellantKalloo Mal Visheshwar Prasad and anr.
RespondentSecretary to Government of U.P. and ors.
Cases ReferredDulal Chand v. Sukumar Banerjee
Excerpt:
- - thus, the petitioners failed to serve the order on the district magistrate on 27th april, 1973. the petitioners thereafter sent a telegram to the district magistrate at about 10.15 p. we were prima facie satisfied that the order of this court was circumvented by the district magistrate. 1973 that he had signed the same before he rose for lunch on that very day, and that it was sent to the rent control and eviction officer for service on the petitioners as well as on the senior supdt. a notice is required to be served on the owner as well as the occupier of the accommodation giving them opportunity to show cause why the accommodation should not be requisitioned. after considering cause, so shown if the district magistrate is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient to do so, he.....k.n. singh, j.1. messrs. kalloo mal visheshar prasad is a partnership firm having ram gopal and durga prasad as its partners. they own house, old no. 7 and new no. 106, rambagh, in the city of allahabad. proceedings under the u. p. temporary accommodation requisition act. 1947, for requisitioning that house were initiated by the district magistrate, allahabad. a notice dated 7th april, 1973, was issued by sri anirudh pandey the then district magistrate, allahabad, under section 3 of the said act to the owners of the aforesaid house requiring them to show cause why the house in question be not requisitioned for a public purpose. the owners appeared and filed objections before the district magistrate. arguments were heard on 25th april, 1973. but before any final order could be passed the.....
Judgment:

K.N. Singh, J.

1. Messrs. Kalloo Mal Visheshar Prasad is a partnership firm having Ram Gopal and Durga Prasad as its partners. They own house, old No. 7 and new No. 106, Rambagh, in the City of Allahabad. Proceedings under the U. P. Temporary Accommodation Requisition Act. 1947, for requisitioning that house were initiated by the District Magistrate, Allahabad. A notice dated 7th April, 1973, was issued by Sri Anirudh Pandey the then District Magistrate, Allahabad, under Section 3 of the said Act to the owners of the aforesaid house requiring them to show cause why the house in question be not requisitioned for a public purpose. The owners appeared and filed objections before the District Magistrate. Arguments were heard on 25th April, 1973. but before any final order could be passed the owners filed a writ petition (No. 2772 of 1973) before this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution challenging the validity of the requisition proceedings and claiming relief for the quashing of the notice dated 7th April, 1973. The Secretary to the Government of U. P., Home Department, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Allahabad, Sri Anirudh Pandey, District Magistrate, Allahabad and Sri S. K. Chatterji, Zone Officer, Intelligence, were arrayed as respondents to the petition. On 27th April, 1973. we issued notice to the respondents in the writ petition. On the stay application filed by the owners, we passed the following order:

'Issue notice.

The respondents are hereby restrained from proceeding with the requisition proceedings of the premises in dispute until further orders of this Court.

We passed the above order after hearing and in the presence of Sri S. N. Upadhya, learned Standing Counsel appearing for the respondents.

2. On 30th April, 1973. an amendment application was filed by the owners seeking amendment in the writ petition. In the affidavit filed along with that amendment application, it was stated that the certified copy of the interim order of this Court dated 27th April. 1973, was not accepted by the Reader of the District Magistrate. Allahabad, and the District Magistrate did not comply with the order, instead he passed a requisition order and served the same on the landlords on 28th April. 1973, at about 2 P. M. Along with the amendment application, a stay application was also filed seeking relief for the issue of an interim order suspending the operation of the requisition order. Both the applications came up for orders before a learned Single Judge of this Court, who directed that the matter be placed before this Bench. Thereafter the writ petition, the amendment application and the second stay application were listed before this Bench. On a perusal of the affidavit filed by Uma Shanker Maheshwari, son of Ram Gopal, a partner of the petitioner firm, and the affidavit of Sri A. Kumar. Advocate of this Court, we issued notice to the then District Magistrate, Allahabad, Sri Anirudh Pandey, to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt of Court. Subsequently, a similar notice was issued to Jagdish Chandra, Reader of the District Magistrate. Both the persons appeared before us and filed their affidavits , and contested the notices issued to them. These are the facts which gave rise to the contempt proceedings against the District Magistrate, and his Reader Jagdish Chandra.

3. Before we consider the merits of the contempt proceedings, it is necessary to refer to certain facts which would disclose the background giving rise to the present proceedings. The building in question was in the tenancy of the State Government which was occupied by the Police Department. The petitioners who are owners of the house filed Suit No. 89 of 1968 for ejectment and arrears of rent against the State Government. Senior Supdt. of Police, Allahabad, and the Collector, Allahabad. The suit was decreed, by the trial Court and on appeal first appellate Court affirmed the decree. Defendants preferred a Second Appeal before this Court. On August 22. 1972 this Court dismissed the appeal and affirmed the decree for ejectment and arrears of rent against the defendants. Thereafter the petitioners who were decree-holders took proceedings for the execution of that decree. The defendants in the suit including the Collector and the Senior Supdt. of Police. Allahabad, filed objections in the execution proceedings in the Civil Court. Those objections were rejected on 31st March, 1973. and possession was directed, to be handed over to the decree-holders and for that purpose the execution Court sent its Amin to the spot to hand over possession to the decree-holders. The possession, however, could not be handed over to the decree-holders as the officials of the Police Department who were occupying the premises obstructed the Amin and it is alleged that the petitioners' men who accompanied the Amin were assaulted. The petitioners thereupon filed an application, before the execution Court, namely, the Additional Civil Judge, Allahabad, for taking contempt proceedings against the judgment-debtors for interfering with the delivery of possession. Notices were issued by the Civil Judge on the contempt application on 17th April, 1973. The defendants filed an appeal against the order of the execution Court rejecting their objections. The appeal was pending.

4. On 7th April. 1973. the District Magistrate, Allahabad issued a notice to the petitioners to show cause why the house in dispute be not requisitioned for the Police Department. The petitioners filed objections before the District Magistrate in reply to the show cause notice. In their objections the petitioners narrated the entire history of the litigation and contended that the District Magistrate was acting mala fide to frustrate the Civil Court decree. Since the Collector was a party to the ejectment decree, he had no jurisdiction to requisition the building in question. The petitioners objections were taken UP for hearing on 25th April. 1973. After hearing arguments the District Magistrate reserved orders. On 27th April 1973, the petitioners filed a writ petition in this Court wherein the interim order quoted above was issued in their favour. The petitioners obtained a certified copy of the order of this Court on 27-4-1973. Thereafter Uma Shanker Maheshwari, son of Ram Gopal, a partner of the petitioner firm, along with Sri A. Kumar, Advocate of this Court, went to the office-cum-residence of the District Magistrate at about 4-30 P. M. for serving the interim order on the District Magistrate. They could not serve the order as the District Magistrate's peon told them that he was not present at his residence and that the order could be handed over to the Reader in Court. Thereupon Uma Shanker Maheshwari, accompanied by Sri A. Kumar, Advocate, and two other persons went to the Court room of the District Magistrate. There they met Jagdish Chandra Reader at about 4-45 P. M. and requested him to accept the order of this Court. Jagdish Chandra refused to accept the copy of the order of this Court, instead he directed that they should serve the same on the District Magistrate personally. He further told them that he could not accept any copy of the order or document in the absence of the District Magistrate. Thus, the petitioners failed to serve the order on the District Magistrate on 27th April, 1973. The petitioners thereafter sent a telegram to the District Magistrate at about 10.15 P. M. on 27th April. 1973. The telegram was in the following words:

Zila Adhikari,

Allahabad.

Honourable High Court staved further proceedings in requisition premises No. 7 old, 106 new Rambagh, Allahabad. Acceptance of certified copy of order was refused at your office and residence. Letter follows,

Kalloomal

Bisheshar Pd.

In addition to the telegram the petitioners sent a registered letter also to the District Magistrate informing him of the circumstances in which they were prevented from serving the interim order and giving information about the interim order. In the morning of 28th April, 1973, Uma Shanker Maheshwari went to the Court of the District Magistrate at about 10.30 A. M. along with his younger brother L. N. Maheshwari and his friend Anand Kumar. He again met Jagdish Chandra, Reader of the District Magistrate, and requested him to accept the certified copy of the order but the latter refused to do so and directed him to wait until the District Magistrate arrived in Court. Meanwhile on a telephonic call by Uma Shanker Maheshwari. Sri Anjani Kumar, Advocate, also reached the Court of the District Magistrate. His request to the Reader for accepting the copy of the order of this Court also met with the same fate. Ultimately, Sri Anirudh Pandey, District Magistrate, arrived in the Court at about 12 noon, Anjani Kumar thereupon handed over the copy of the interim order to the Reader for being placed before the District Magistrate, but latter said that court-fee stamp of the value of Rs. 1.50 should be placed on the application-cum-forwarding letter. Uma Sanker Maheshwari complied with the request and fixed a court-fee stamp of Rs. 1.50 and thereafter the copy of the stay order was handed over to the Reader. The order was, however, not placed before the District Magistrate immediately. After the District Magistrate finished all other matters in Court the copy of the interim order was placed before him by the Reader at the end. On receipt of the interim order the District Magistrate made the following endorsement on the letter-cum-application which accompanied the copy of the order:

This has been presented today when the order was passed yesterday (on 27.4). This be kept on the file. R. C. E. O. and the Government Standing Counsel in the High Court be informed for further n. a.

Sd. Anirudh Pandey,

1.20 P.M.

The District Magistrate orally told Uma Shanker Maheshwari and A. Kumar, Advocate, that since the order had already been passed yesterday, he could not do anything in the matter.

5. The petitioners thereupon filed an amendment application and a stay application directed against the order of requisition alleged to have been passed on 27th April, 1973. Sri A. Kumar, learned Counsel for the petitioners, who appeared before us at the time of the hearing of the writ petition and who had accompanied Uma Shanker Maheshwari to the residence of the District Magistrate and to the Reader of the District Magistrate both on 27th and 28th April. 1973, filed his own affidavit in support of the petitioners' contention. We were prima facie satisfied that the order of this Court was circumvented by the District Magistrate. We, therefore, issued notice to the District Magistrate to show cause why action should not be taken against him. In reply, the District Magistrate. Allahabad, filed his affidavit. Subsequently, we issued notice to the Reader also for showing cause why action should not be taken against him. Affidavits, counter affidavits and rejoinder affidavits were exchanged. The District Magistrate, his Reader, Process Server and the Rent Control and Eviction Officer have filed their affidavits on behalf of the opposite parties while the affidavits of Uma Shanker Maheshwari and of Sri A. Kumar, Advocate, of this Court were filed in support of the petitioners' contention.

6. We summoned the requisition file from the office of the District Magistrate which is on record. We also summoned the file relating to the requisition proceedings in question from the office of the Senior Supdt. of Police, Allahabad, and that file is also on the record, On a perusal of the allegations made in the various affidavits we considered it necessary to examine and cross-examine Uma Shanker Maheshwari. Sri A. Kumar, Advocate, Sri Anirudh Pandey. District Magistrate, and the Reader Jagdish Chandra. All these persons were examined and cross-examined by the counsel for the parties.

7. The petitioners contend that the District Magistrate was acting mala fide, he was keenly interested in requisitioning the house in question for the Police Department with a view to nullifying the decree of the Civil Court as affirmed by the High Court. He had knowledge of the interim order passed by this Court on 27th April. 1973, and in spite of it he passed the order of requisition on 27th April, 1973. that he evaded service of the interim order : that he served the copy of the requisition order on the petitioners in violation of the interim order of this Court, and that thereby he wilfully disobeyed the orders of this Court. The stand taken by the District Magistrate has been that he had dictated the requisition order at about 11 A M. on 27th April. 1973 that he had signed the same before he rose for lunch on that very day, and that it was sent to the Rent Control and Eviction Officer for service on the petitioners as well as on the Senior Supdt. of Police, Allahabad. He had no knowledge of the interim order passed by this Court. He received the telegram sent by the petitioners on 28th April, 1973. at about 10.30 A. M. and when he came to Court he was served with a certified copy of the order of this Court at 1.20 P. M. but he forwarded the same to the Rent Control and Eviction Officer for necessary action. He did not take any steps in the matter as the requisition order hid already been passed and nothing more was required to be done. He never disobeyed the orders of the High Court. Sri Jagdish Chandra, Reader of his Court, took the stand that some people had come to him to serve a copy of the interim order of this Court on 27th April. 1973. at about .5,30 P. M. after Court hours. He directed them to serve the order on the District Magistrate himself. On 28th April, 1973, those very people again approached him with the copy of the stay order at about 10.30 A. M. but he told them that he would accept the same when the District Magistrate arrived in Court as he was not authorised to accept any application or orders in the absence of the Presiding Officer. After the arrival of the District Magistrate, he accepted the copy of the order of this Court and placed the same before him. In his supplementary counter-affidavit, he further took a plea that he was not the regular Reader of the District Magistrate. In fact his duty was to act as Reader of the District Magistrate only in consolidation cases and it was none of his duty to accept any application or order in the absence of the Presiding Officer. He further stated that he never flouted the orders of this Court. Even if any case was made out against him he tendered unqualified apology.

8. In view of the rival contentions of the parties the question that arises is whether the District Magistrate and his Reader wilfully disobeyed the interim order of this Court dated 27th April, 1973. On 27th April, 1973, the interim order was passed at about 2.45 P. M. Sri S. N. Upadhyay, learned Standing Counsel, who represented the respondents in the writ petition including the District Magistrate, appeared before us and opposed the issue of the interim order. After hearing the petitioners' Counsel and the standing Counsel, we issued the interim order directing the respondents including the District Magistrate not to proceed with the requisition proceedings. It is not disputed that the certified copy of that order was obtained and service of that order was attempted to be made by the petitioners on the District Magistrate at his residence, failing which attempt was made to serve the order on his Reader on that very date but he refused to accept the same. It is also undisputed that a telegram from the petitioner was received by the District Magistrate which conveyed the contents of the interim order of this Court, to the District Magistrate. Not only that, in the telegram itself a grievance was made that the acceptance of the certified copy of the High Court's order was refused at his residence-cum-office and in his Court. In his statement before us Sri Anirudh Pandey, District Magistrate, has admitted that the telegram was placed before him at about 10.30 a.m. on 28th April. 1973. He further admitted that his Reader Jagdish Chandra came to see him at his residence at about 10.30 a.m. and told him that certain persons had come to serve a certified copy of the order of the High Court on him on 27th April. 1973. and that those persons were present in Court along with the copy of the stay order. Sri Pandey did not direct the Reader to get the copy of the order, although he connected the telegram with the stay order brought by some persons in the Court. He further admitted that on reaching Court at about 12 noon he again did not enquire from the Reader about the copy of the order which had been mentioned to him in his chamber. After he had finished his regular case work, the certified copy of the stay order was placed before him by his Reader at 1.20 P. M. On receipt of the High Court's order he did not issue any specific direction to the Rent Control and Eviction Officer or anyone else for compliance of the order of the High Court. Instead he forwarded the copy of the order to the Rent Control and Eviction Officer for 'further necessary action'. These facts are not disputed, in fact. Sri Pandey and his Reader Jagdish Chandra both admit these facts in their depositions. On the evidence on record it is fully established that the order of requisition dated 27th April, 1973 was served on the petitioners at 2 p. m. on 28th April, 1973. This is evident from the affidavits of Jamuna Shanker Misra. Rent Control and Eviction Officer and Ram Deo Process Server, who effected service on the petitioners on 28th April, 1973. at 2 D. m. i. e. much after the receipt of the telegram and the interim order of this Court.

In his statement Sri Pandey has unequivocally stated that he did not take any steps (apart from making endorsement for taking 'further necessary action' to the Rent Control and Eviction Officer) to ensure that the order was not further carried out into effect. According to him the requisition proceedings were completed the moment he signed the requisition order dated 27th April, 1973. He further stated that the service of the requisition order on the landlords of the building in question was not a necessary ingredient of the requisition proceedings but when his attention was drawn to Section 4 of the Requisition of Accommodation Act in cross examination he conceded that service of notice was necessary and with that end in view he had forwarded a copy of the requisition order for service on the petitioners. Sri Pandey evaded the relevant questions but ultimately he admitted that service of the requisition order on the parties was necessary to be made before the requisition proceedings could be completed, Sri Anirudh Pandey is a senior officer who has been holding the office of District Magistrate for a sufficient number of years. We are not inclined to believe that he did not know that service of requisition order on the owner of the house was not an integral part of requisition proceedings. In cross examination he conceded that before the passing of the requisition order he had studied the Act and other law books and obtained legal opinion also. In view of these facts his statement that the requisition proceedings were completed merely on the passing of the order is a naive statement which does not contain any grain of truth.

9. Section 3 of the U. P. (Temporary) Accommodation Requisition Act, 1947, as amended by U. P. Act No. 39 of 1972 confers power on the District Magistrate to requisition an accommodation for a public purpose. A notice is required to be served on the owner as well as the occupier of the accommodation giving them opportunity to show cause why the accommodation should not be requisitioned. After considering cause, so shown if the District Magistrate is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient to do so, he may by order in writing requisition the accommodation and may make such other order which appears to be necessary or expedient in that connection. Section 4 lays down that the order of requisition shall be served on the owner as well as the occupier of the accommodation by delivery of the order to such owner or occupier and in case where the owner or occupier is not readily traceable and the order cannot be served without undue delay or where the ownership is in dispute or cannot be easily ascertained, the order shall be served by publishing it in the Official Gazette and by affixing a copy thereof on any conspicuous part of the accommodation. The provisions of Section 4 are mandatory. The requisition order issued under Section 3 of the Act must be served on the owner or occupier of the accommodation, and an order of requisition in the absence of its service cannot be effective. An order which affects the rights of another person cannot be effective unless it is served on that party. The requisition of an accommodation from an owner affects his right to the property. The legislature therefore laid down a mandate that the order of the requisition must be served on the owner or occupier in the manner laid down in Section 4 of the Act. In the absence of service of the order no possession can be taken and the order cannot be effective in law. In this view of the matter even assuming that the District Magistrate had passed the requisition order on 27-4-1973, it could not be effective unless it was served on the owner viz., the petitioners. The District Magistrate in the instant case with a view to complying with the provisions of Section 4 of the Act endorsed a copy of the requisition order to the Senior Supdt. of Police Allahabad in whose favour the requisition of the building in question was made and also to the petitioners who were the owners of the building in question. In his deposition the District Magistrate has stated that he gave oral direction to his Reader to send the file to the Rent Control and Eviction Officer for service of the order on the parties. He was therefore, conscious that the service of the requisition order on the owner was necessary to be made before the requisition proceedings could be completed. Therefore, the explanation given by Sri Anirudh Pandey that according to his interpretation of law requisition proceedings were completed when he signed the requisition order on 27-4-1973, is neither trustworthy nor convincing,

10. Sri Anirudh Pandey not only failed to take steps to comply with the orders of this Court but he deliberately evaded and delayed the service of the order. On his own admission he had acquired knowledge about the interim order of this Court at 10.30 A. M. on 28-4-1973. The telegram gave the details of the interim order as well as the requisition proceedings. Not only that his Reader had also told him at that hour that those who had come to serve a copy of the interim order on 27-4-1973 had also arrived and they were waiting in the Court. Sri Pandey conveniently kept quiet and did not try to obtain the certified copy of the order in order to ascertain the correctness of the communication contained in the Telegram. It is noteworthy that in his endorsement made on the telegram he had directed the Rent Control and Eviction Officer to place the matter before him on the receipt of the certified copy of the order of the High Court, But when Sri Jagdish Chandra his Reader told him that the people have brought the, certified copy of the stay order and they were waiting in his Court, Sri Pandey did not try to obtain that order. He did not even instruct his Reader to get that order and further when he himself came to the Court he did not ask his Reader to produce that copy of the stay order before him. His explanation that he did not consider it proper to take action on the telegram is again a mere pretence. If he had a will to ascertain the correctness of the communication contained in the telegram, he could have directed his Reader to set the copy of the order at once from those persons who had been waiting in his Court. These circumstances and the depositions of Sri Pandey and the Reader Jagdish Chandra prove beyond doubt that the District Magistrate had full knowledge of the interim order and vet he evaded the service of the certified copy of the order. In the normal course any responsible officer would have tried to verify the contents of the orders or to have directed the Reader to get the certified copy of the order so that compliance could be made but Sri Pandey has failed to explain to us as in why he did not consider it necessary to direct his Reader to get the copy of the order from those people who were waiting in his Court or to have asked those people who we're waiting with the certified copy of the order in his Court to product the copy of the order before him. As we have already said above we are not prepared to believe his statement to the effect that according to his interpretation of the legal position the requisition proceedings were completed the moment he signed the requisition order and that nothing further could be done in the matter on the basis of the stay order passed by this Court.

11. The District Magistrate has denied that he was keen for requisitioning the house in question to regularise the possession of the Police Department. The evidence on record and the circumstances and the background in which the requisition proceedings were taken and requisition order was passed by the District Magistrate make it clear that the District Magistrate was very keen to requisition the house for regularising the possession of the Police Department. A Civil Court decree had already been passed for eviction of the Police Department. The execution Court had already rejected the objections filed on behalf of the judgment-debtors including the Collector. Allahabad : a contempt application had already been filed before the execution Court, and reports had been lodged by the petitioners' men for the assault made on them by the employees of the Police Department residing in the house in question. Over and above all that, the District Magistrate was faced with the scarcity of accommodation to provide alternative accommodation to the Police Department. In his deposition before us, Sri Pandey himself admitted that there was paucity of accommodation and it was not easy for him to arrange for an alternative accommodation. In the circumstances we are not prepared to accept the testimony of the District Magistrate that he was not keen to requisition the house in question at all costs. As regards the service of the order on the petitioners the District Magistrate was again keen to get that order served on the petitioners as soon as possible. In his deposition, he admitted that he signed the requisition order before rising for lunch on 27th April, 1913. He had issued oral directions that the file be sent to the Rent Control and Eviction Officer for service of the order. A perusal of the affidavit of Yamuna Shanker Misra would show that the order of requisition was received in his office at about 4 p. m. on 27th April, 1973 and at 4.10 p.m. he directed one of his peons. Ramdeo for effecting service on the parties. According to the affidavit of the Process Server, a copy of the requisition order was served on the Senior Supdt. of Police. Allahabad, on the same day in the evening. An effort was made to serve the notice on the petitioners in the night between 27th and 28th April, 1973, but it could not be served. On 28th April. 1.973, the Rent Control and Eviction Officer deputed another peon namely Nizam to effect service on the petitioners. The requisition order was thereupon served on the petitioners at 2 p. m. by Nizam, a peon of the Rent Control and Eviction Officer. The speedy action taken by the Rent Control and Eviction Officer to effect service on the night and again the next day undoubtedly indicates that the Rent Control and Eviction Officer was acting under the directions of the District Magistrate. In the circumstances it is clear that the District Magistrate was keen not only in issuing the order of requisition but also in setting the same served on the petitioners; although the District Magistrate had acquired knowledge of the stay order of this Court at 10-30 a. m. on 28th April, 1973. yet he deliberately allowed the requisition proceedings to be completed. We are. therefore, satisfied that the District Magistrate acted in a wilful manner to flout the orders of this Court.

12. Sri S. N. Upadhyay. Learned Standing Counsel, appearing for the District Magistrate urged that an error of judgment or erroneous view of law taken by the District Magistrate with regard to service of requisition order on the petitioners does not amount to any wilful disobedience of the order of this Court. It is true that a bona fide mistaken view of law does not amount to any wilful culpability of an officer or authority.

The question is whether Sri Pandey committed any mistake in serving the order on the petitioners due to a mistaken view of law. The circumstances discussed above clearly indicate that Sri Pandey had taken no action for compliance of the order of this Court although he had on his own statement acquired knowledge of the interim order of this Court on 28-4-1973 at 10.30 a.m. after he had received the telegram from the petitioners. In his cross-examination, he further conceded before us that service of the order on the parties was necessary before the requisition proceedings could be completed. Even though the order was prohibitory. Sri Anirudh Pandey kept quiet and took no steps to prohibit the service of the requisition order on the petitioners except directing the Rent Control and Eviction Officer to take 'further necessary action' which direction is obviously vague. It was the duty of the District Magistrate to issue specific instructions to the Rent Control and Eviction Officer to stay his hands and to see to it that service of the requisition order on the petitioners was not made. As already discussed, he deliberately evaded service of the certified copy of the order and when the order was actually served on him at 1.30 p.m. even then he did not issue any specific direction that the service of the order should not be made although he had knowledge that the requisition order was in the process of being served on the petitioner. In view of these facts and circumstances we are fully satisfied that the District Magistrate was not acting bona fide and his explanation that the requisition proceedings were completed the moment he put his signatures on the requisition order is false. The District Magistrate acted in a wilful and improper manner disregarding the order of this Court.

13. It was then contended on behalf of the District Magistrate that since the certified copy of the order of this Court was served on Sri Pandey at 1.25 p.m. he had little time to stay service of the requisition order on the petitioners as it was in the process of being served which was actually served on the petitioners at 2.00 p. m. The time gap between service of the certified copy of the order of this Court on the District Magistrate and the service of the requisition order on the petitioners was very short. Therefore, the District Magistrate, even if he wanted to take any action, could not do so to stop service of the order on the petitioners. Admittedly, Sri Pandey had received the petitioners' telegram which communicated the contents of the interim order of this Court to him. He has stated before us that he did not take any steps to comply with the orders of this Court because he was waiting for the service of the certified copy of the order. His Reader had told him at 10.30 a.m. on 28-4-1973 that some people were present in the Court along with the certified copy of the order and even then Sri Pandey did not take any steps to obtain the certified copy of the order or to comply with the orders of this Court We have already held that he was not interested in. verifying the correctness of the information contained in the telegram. On the other hand be was deliberately evading service of the order. He had full knowledge of the interim order at 10.30 a. m. on 28-4-1973. The plea that the District Magistrate was not under any duty to comply with the orders of this Court unless certified copy of the order was served on him is legally not sound. The legal position in the case of prohibitory orders had been stated by Oswald in the Contempt of Court, HI Edition in the following manner:

The judgment or order should be served on the party personally, except in the following cases : (1) prohibitive orders, the drawing up of which is not completed : (2) orders embodying an undertaking to do an act by a named day; (3) the orders to answer interrogatories or for discovery or inspection of documents; (4) where an order for substituted service has been made : (5) where the respondent has evaded service of the order ....

In order to justify committal for breach of a prohibitive order it is not necessary that the order should have been served upon the party against whom it has been granted, if it be proved that he had notice of the order aliunde, as by telegram, or newspaper, report, or otherwise, and knew that it was intended to be enforced, or if he consented to the order, or if he was present in Court when the order was pronounced, or when the motion was made, although he left before the order was pronounced.

The above statement of law was emoted with approval by the Supreme Court in Hoshiar Singh v. Gurbachan Singh : AIR1962SC1089 and Bunna Prasad v. State of U.P. : 1968CriLJ1514 . In Hoshiar Singh's case the Supreme Court observed:

In the matter of a prohibitory order it is well settled that it is not necessary that the order should have been served upon the party against whom it has been granted in order to justify committal for breach of such an order, provided it is proved that the -person complained against had notice of the order aliunde.

After making the aforesaid observations, their Lordships rejected the plea that till the certified copy of the order was officially served on the officers or an authority they were not under a duty to carry out that order merely on the basis of information received otherwise, In Bunna Prasad's case, the Supreme Court reiterated that in cases of contempt for disobedience of prohibitive orders of Court, in order to justify committal, it is not necessary that the order should have been served upon the party against whom it had been granted. If it is proved that he had notice of the order aliunde, as by telegram, or newspaper report or otherwise, and knew that it was intended to be enforced, the party would be guilty of contempt of Court in disobeying the order. In Aligarh Municipal Board v. Ekka Tonga Mazdoor Union : 1970CriLJ1520 the Supreme Court again reiterated the law relating to contempt proceedings for breach of prohibitory orders. Their Lordships held that in order to justify action for contempt of Court for breach of prohibitory orders it is not necessary that the order should have been officially served upon the party against whom it is granted. If it is proved that he had knowledge of the exact order aliunde and he knew that it was intended to be enforced, official communication is not a condition precedent provided there is no valid reason to doubt the authenticity of the order conveyed to him. The legal position, therefore, in the case of service of prohibitory orders is clear. A prohibitory order actually need not be served upon the person who is prosecuted for breach of that order. If it is proved that the person alleged to have committed breach of the prohibitory order had knowledge from some other source, he would be guilty for breach of that order and it would be no valid defence for him that a certified copy of the order or the official communication had not been received by him, provided he had no reason to doubt the authenticity of the order conveyed to him.

14. In the instant case the District Magistrate had acquired knowledge about the prohibitory order of this Court by telegram which admittedly he received at 10.30 a.m. on 28-4-1973. even then he did not obey that order, instead he allowed the process of the service of the requisition order on the petitioners. His explanation that he did not consider it proper to take any action on the basis of the telegram is also not a bona fide explanation. He has not stated either in his affidavit or in his statement before us that he doubted the authenticity of the information contained in the telegram. Not only that, his subsequent conduct in evading service of the certified copy of the order on him further indicates that he had, no will and desire to comply with the order of this Court, instead he evaded it so that service of the requisition order on the parties could be completed. The District Magistrate in his own statement before us admitted that even after he was served with the certified copy of the order of this Court he did not issue any specific direction for the compliance of the order of the High Court.

15. In our opinion, on the evidence on record and the circumstances of this case, it has been fully proved beyond all reasonable doubt that the District Magistrate had acquired knowledge of the prohibitory order of this Court at 10.30 a.m. on 28-4-1973 but he wilfully disobeyed that order. The District Magistrate is a high responsible officer entrusted with legal duty of carrying out order of this Court. He. is expected to act in a forthright manner to comply with the orders of this Court, We are, however, constrained to observe that Sri Pandey, the District Magistrate, acted in a most reckless and wilful manner in flouting the orders of this Court. We do not find any circumstances to justify his conduct in the instant matter. We. therefore, hold that Sri Pandey, the District Magistrate, is guilty of the wilful disobedience of the order of this Court dated 27-4-1973.

16. Sri Shanti Bhushan, learned Counsel for the petitioners landlord strenuously urged that the District Magistrate had passed the requisition order dated 27-4-1973 after he had acquired knowledge of the interim order passed by this Court. He referred to the unusual conduct of the District Magistrate and the circumstances delaying the service of the order on him in support of his contention. Admittedly on 27-4-1973 Sri S. N. Upadhyay, learned Standing Counsel was heard before the issue of the interim order and in fact the order was passed in his presence. The matter being local it was expected that he should have sent information to the District Magistrate on that very day. Sri Upadhyay has, however stated at the Bar be- . fore us that he could not contact the District Magistrate on that day although a letter was sent to the Government communicating the interim order of this Court, a copy of which was forwarded to the District Magistrate also on 30-4-1973. In these circumstances we find it difficult to hold that the Standing Counsel had communicated the interim order of the High Court to the District Magistrate on 27-4-1973. As already discussed the order of this Court could not. be served on the District Magistrate as the peon present at the residence-cum-office of the District Magistrate told Uma Shanker Maheshwari and Anjani Kumar, who had gone there with the certified copy of the order for service on the District Magistrate, that he was not present in the house and the order could be delivered to the Reader in his Court. Admittedly, service of the order was attempted on Jagdish Chand, the Reader, but he refused to accept the same. Thereafter. the petitioners sent a telegram to the District Magistrate in the night at 10.15 P. M. According to the District Magistrate the order had already been passed on 27-4-1973 and signed by him before lunch on that day. When Sri Anirudh Pandey was in the witness-box, he was asked questions relating to approximate time when he had passed various orders. Sri Pandey categorically stated that it was difficult for him to give any approximate time when he passed a particular order. But in the present case he specifically remembered that he had signed the requisition order before rising for lunch on 27-4-1973. Sri Pandey, however, failed to give any reasonable explanation as to why he remembered the time of signing the requisition order in the instant case. Further, the stand taken by the District Magistrate has throughout been that the requisition order was served on the Senior Supdt. of Police on 27-4-1973 while it was served on the petitioners on 28-4-1973 at 2.00 P. M. In support of that plea an affidavit of Ram Deo, Process Server, has been filed. The same stand has been taken by Jamuna Prasad Misra, the Rent Control Officer. The copy of the, order served on the Senior Superintendent of Police. Allahabad, is present in the Police file which was summoned by us from his office. The endorsement made on that order shows that the requisition order was received by the Senior Supdt. of Police on 28-4-1973 and not on 27-4-1973. Sri Pandey was confronted with that endorsement (on the copy of the requisition order served on the Senior Supdt. of Police. Allahabad), and was asked to explain as to how he reconciled his stand. He stated that according to his information the order had been served on the Senior Supdt. of Police on 27-4-1973 but the endorsment may have been made on 28-4-1973. Sri Pandey however failed to find any document or endorsement in the file which could show that the order was served on the Senior Supdt. of Police on 27-4-1973. Then again, we find that the District Magistrate has himself admitted in his deposition before us that the various correspondence including the letters sent by the Standing Counsel were not present on the requisition file summoned from the office of the District Magistrate. The file is incomplete in various respects. In his cross-examination Sri Pandey had to admit all these facts. It thus appears that all those documents which could show that the order had not been passed on 27th April. 1973, or those papers or documents which could throw doubt on the veracity of Sri Pandey were removed from that file before it was sent to the High Court. The file does not contain any correspondence, although the District Magistrate admitted that a lot of correspondence took place and all those papers were on the file.

17. If these circumstances are taken into account in the background of the litigation in which the Police Department, the Collector and the District Magistrate and the State Government were involved with the petitioners landlords it may reasonably be suspected that the District Magistrate passed this requisition order after he had acquired knowledge of the interim order. Any suspicion, howsoever strong, cannot take place of Proof. There is no positive evidence before us that the District Magistrate passed the requisition order after he had received information of the interim order. No finding can be recorded on mere suspicion. We are therefore unable to accept the petitioners' contention.

18. As regards the case against Jagdish Chandra. Reader of the District Magistrate, the statements of Uma Shanker Maheshwari and Sri Anjani Kumar, Advocate of this Court, prove beyond any reasonable doubt that they had approached the Reader in the District Magistrate's Court at about 4.45 p. m. on 27th April 1973. alone with the certified copy of the order of this Court for service on the District Magistrate. Since District Magistrate was not available at his residence they wanted to serve the order on the Reader, who had been conducting peshi during the hearing of the requisition proceedings. There is some dispute about the time when Uma Shanker Maheshwari and Sri Anjani Kumar Advocate approached in the Court of the District Magistrate. According to Uma Shanker Maheshwari and Anjani Kumar Advocate they approached him at about 4.45 p. m. while in his affidavit and statement before this Court. Jagdish Chandra stated that some people came along with the copy of the High Court's order at about 5-30 p. m. We have considered the statement of Sri Anjani Kumar. Advocate. We see no reason to disbelieve the statement of Anjani Kumar. Advocate who has stated that he Had approached Jagdish Chandra. Reader of the District Magistrate in his Court at about 4.45 p.m. Jagdish Chandra has not given straightforward answers before us. His testimony cannot be given preference over that of an Advocate of this Court. In his statement Jagdish Chandra has admitted that he was present in the Court room of the District Magistrate when some people came to him and told him that they had brought a copy of the stay order passed by the High Court for service on the District Magistrate. He admitted in his statement before us that those people wanted to serve the copy of the order on him but he refused to accept the same. In his statement, Uma Shanker Maheshwari stated that he had told Jagdish Chandra that the order of the High Court was to the effect that the requisition Proceedings shall remain stayed until further orders of this Court. Jagdish Chandra, however, did not accept the order. Instead he told Uma Shanker Maheshwari and others to serve the order on the District Magistrate himself. On 28th April. 1973, Uma Shanker Maheshwari again approached the Reader at 10.30 a. m. in the Court of the District Magistrate with the copy of the stay order for service on the District Magistrate and again made a request to Jagdish Chandra to accept the same, but the latter refused to accept the order on the ground that he would accept the same only after the District Magistrate arrived in Court. These facts are not disputed. In fact Jagdish Chandra himself admits that he had refused to accept the order in pursuance of the verbal instructions of the District Magistrate that no application or copy of order should be accepted by him in the absence of the District Magistrate. In his deposition before us Sri Anirudh Pandey denied to have issued any such instructions to his Reader.

In the circumstances, it is difficult to accept the testimony of Jagdish Chandra that he had oral instructions from the District Magistrate not to accept any application or order even if that be the order of the High Court in the absence of the District Magistrate. Jagdish Chandra was acting as Reader to the District Magistrate. In the normal course any communication or order issued to the District Magistrate should have been accepted by him. It was his duty to receive the orders passed by the High Court and to place the same before the District Magistrate as early as possible. He was subordinate to the District Magistrate and it was his duty to bring the stay order to the notice of the District Magistrate without any delay. Moreover in his statement before us Jagdish Chandra conceded that he realised the importance of the High Court's order and it was his duty to give communication of the High Court order to the District Magistrate as early as possible, but even then he did not accept the certified copy of the order in the evening of 27th April. 1973. and also on 28th April. 1973, till the District Magistrate arrived in Court, He further deposed before us that he would not accept the copy of the stay order passed by the High Court in connection with a case pending in the Court of the District Magistrate. The only explanation given by him in this regard is the verbal instructions alleged to have been issued by the District Magistrate. As already noted the District Magistrate has denied to have given any such instructions to his Reader. It may be that the Reader entertained an apprehension that the District Magistrate might be annoyed if he accepted the interim order without his per-mission but in his cross-examination he dented the suggestion.

19. In the circumstances Jagdish Chandra committed a grave misconduct. His refusal to accept the stay order amounted to gross contempt of this Court. Even on 28th April. 1973, Jagdish Chandra behaved in a reckless manner. He refused to accept the copy of the interim order till the District Magistrate arrived in Court. He placed the stay order before the District Magistrate only after the entire work of the day was finished. These are the admitted facts which eloquently speak of the contumacious act of Jagdish Chandra. If he had any regard and respect for the High Court's order he would have acted promptly in accepting the order of the High Court and placing the same before the District Magistrate at the earliest possible opportunity. Instead, he tried his best to evade the same. In our opinion his action and behaviour undermined the dignity and authority of this Court.

20. Sri Gyan Prakash, learned Counsel for Jagdish Chandra argued that he was not a regular Reader of the District Magistrate. Instead he was designated as Reader to the District Magistrate for the purposes of cases arising out of U. P. Consolidation of Holdings Act. The District Magistrate is the District Deputy Director of Consolidation who hears revisions under that Act. Jagdish Chandra, according to the learned Counsel, was required to look, after the consolidation cases. He was therefore under no duty to accept the interim order passed in the requisition proceedings and therefore he could not be held guilty in the matter. Reliance was placed on the list of duties annexed to the supplementary counter affidavit filed by him. We have considered the matter carefully. but we find no substance in the submission of 'the learned Counsel. Jagdish Chandra himself admitted before us in his statement that the entire order sheet of the requisition case was written in his own hand and that he was doing peshi work in that, case before the District Magistrate. He further admitted that he had gone to the District Magistrate's chamber at his residence at 10.30 a. m. on 28th April, 1973, and informed him that- some people had come with the copy of the stay order of the High Court on 27th April, 1973 and that those people were waiting in the Court room along with the copy of the stay order. It is also admitted by him that he accepted the copy of the stay order when the District .Magistrate, arrived in Court and placed the same before the District Magistrate after the routine work of the day was over. In the circumstances the statement of Jagdish Chandra itself makes it clear that whatever may have been mentioned in the list of duties, he was in actual practice working as the Reader of the District Magistrate in the requisition proceedings. He was accepting papers and documents relating to the requisition proceedings. Sri Anirudh Pandey has conceded that after he passed the requisition order on 27th April, 1973, he directed Jagdish Chandra Reader to send the file to the Rent Control and Eviction Officer for service of the order on the parties concerned. Having regard to all these facts and circumstances we find no merit in the contention.

21. Jagdish Chandra also did not behave in a straightforward manner before us in the witness box. He refused to recognise Uma Shanker Maheshwari. although it was he who used to do pairvi in the requisition case on behalf of the petitioners and he had approached the Reader on 27th April. 1973, in the company of Sri Anjani Kumar Advocate of this Court to serve the copy of this Court's order and again on the morning of 28th April. 1973, he had approached the Reader for serving the order. Jagdish Chandra had the audacity to state before us that he had never seen Uma Shanker Maheshwari in his life. He even refused to have seen Sri Anjani Kumar Advocate who had admittedly gone to the District Magistrate's Court several times. In the circumstances the testimony of Jagdish Chandra is wholly unworthy of reliance.

22. As already noted Jagdish Chandra was under a duty to have accepted the order of this Court and to have placed it before the District Magistrate. In refusing to accept the order of this Court and placing the same before the District Magistrate immediately on receiving information of the order he wilfully disobeyed the orders of this Court. We, therefore, hold him guilty of the charge of contempt of this Court.

23. After the hearing of the case was closed and the Bench reserved orders in the proceedings, Sri Anirudh Pandey made an oral request that his counsel Sri P. C. Chaturvedi was not present in the Court and therefore some other date be given to enable Sri Chaturvedi to argue his case. On 30th October, we had adjourned the hearing of the case on a request made by Sri P. C. Chaturvedi, When the case was taken up on 1st Nov., 1973, and on that date the statements of witnesses were recorded, Sri P. C. Chaturvedi was present in Court, he did not take part in the proceedings. On our enquiry he told us that Sri S. N, Upadhyay, Standing Counsel, was appearing an behalf of Sri Anirudh Pandey. He did not cross-examine any witnesses, instead Sri S. W. Upadhyaya cross-examined Uma Shanker Maheshwari and Sri Anjani Kumar. Advocate and Jagdish Chandra whose statements were recorded. The statement of Sri Anirudh Pandey could not be completed on that date, it was completed on 2-11-1973. After his statement was recorded we heard arguments and directed that the case be listed on 5th November, 1973, for delivery of judgment. It was only thereafter that Sri Pandey made the aforesaid request. It is noteworthy that Sri S. N. Upadhyaya, learned Standing Counsel, has throughout been appearing on behalf of Sri Pandey District Magistrate. It was he who examined him in chief and after recording of evidence was over he argued the case on behalf of Sri Anirudh Pandey in his presence. Sri Pandey never raised any objection before us that he was not being represented by Sri S. N. Upadhyay, learned Standing Counsel, but by Sri P. C. Chaturvedi. In these circumstances. Sri Anirudh Pandey was fully heard through Sri S. N. Upadhyaya, learned Standing Counsel and the request for additional opportunity of arguments made after the case was over was hardly justified. In our opinion, there was no justification to grant the request for adjournment.

24. Sri Anirudh Pandey did not tender any apology either in his affidavit or in the statement made before us even though his attention was drawn to this aspect in cross-examination by the learned Counsel for the petitioners. After we had heard arguments and reserved the order and when we were rising from the Court Sri Pandey hurriedly submitted an application tendering unqualified apology. Under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, it is open to a contemner to justify his action and to tender apology at the same time. In the present case, however, different considerations arise. On an earlier occasion in 1968 while Sri Anirudh Pandey was posted as District Magistrate. Muzaffarnagar, similar proceedings were taken against him as he had disobeyed interim orders of this Court passed in a writ petition. In Misc. Contempt Case No. 47 of 1968. arising out of a writ petition filed in this Court notice was issued to Sri Pandey as to why he should not be punished for contempt of Court. The allegations in that case were similar to the present one. Sri Pandey was in that case accused of having flouted interim orders of this Court even though a certified copy of the interim order had been brought to his notice. In his deposition before us, Sri Pandey admitted that in that case he had tendered unqualified apology before this Court, thereupon, notice of contempt was discharged and he was let off.

25. Apology is accepted in a case; where the contemner tenders the same in a genuine and bona fide manner. On the acceptance of apology the contemner gets an opportunity of making amends in his conduct in future, but repetition of the contumacious action in violation of judicial orders of Courts is an indication that the apology was a mere pretence to escape penal consequences. In the instant case Sri Pandey escaped penal consequences on acceptance of apology on an earlier occasion. In the circumstances in which he has tendered apology in the instant case after the hearing was over it becomes apparent that the contrition which is the essence of our pursuing contempt by apology was absent. We are satisfied that the apology in the present case has been used by Sri Pandey as a weapon of defence and there is no evidence of real contrition. In the circumstances it is not worth accepting. It was expected that Sri Pandey would make amends for his conduct after he was let off, on acceptance of his apology by this Court, but his subsequent conduct, as discussed above, shows that he has persisted in his contumacious action in disregarding the orders of this Court. He did not show any change of heart or mind. On the contrary, he has repeated the offence again in wilful disobedience of the orders of this Court. In the circumstances, we do not consider it a fit case to accept his apology and discharge the notice. There is yet another reason to reject his apology. As already noted Sri Pandey did not tender any apology either in his affidavit or in his deposition before this Court. No such apology was tendered at the time of arguments even, but after the argument was over and on the observations made by us during the course of arguments when it became apparent to him that we were taking a serious view, he tendered apology after the case was over. An apology is acceptable if it is bona fide and genuine made as a measure of atonement but if the apology is tendered merely as a pretext to escape the consequences of the contumacious acts in contempt proceedings, it cannot be accepted as of right. Sri Pandey escaped penal consequences in the earlier case by tendering apology. He has again behaved in a contumacious manner which is unbecoming of a senior officer. His conduct is bound to create a feeling in the litigant public and the officers of the Government that high officers like him can afford to devise means to disregard orders of this Court and to evade service of orders of this Court to nullify interim orders. In the circumstances, we are not satisfied with the genuineness and bona fides of his apology. We, therefore, refuse to accept it.

26. Sri Jagdish Chandra tendered unqualified apology. We have considered the matter carefully but in the circumstances and the facts of the present case we do not consider it a fit case to accept his apology and to discharge notice against him. Apology has certainly the virtue that it minimises the gravity of the offence committed by the contemner but it does not wholly absolve him of the guilt. An apology cannot be a weapon of defence forged always to purge the contempt. It is intended to be evidence of real contrition, the manly consciousness of a wrong done, of an injury inflicted and the earnest desire to make such reparation, as lies in the wrong-doer's power. Only then it is of any avail in Court of justice. If the apology is merely a ruse for escaping the consequences it cannot be accepted. In the instant case Jagdish Chandra in his deposition before us clearly admitted that he was aware that he was under a legal duty to accept the order of the High Court and to place the same before the District Magistrate, but even then he refused to accept the certified copy of the interim order on 27th April, 1973, and again he repeated his contumacious action in refusing to accept the copy of the order of this Court on 28th April, 1973, On a false pretext. Even during the course of arguments it was stressed on his behalf that it was none of his duty to accept order of this Court. In the circumstances we are of the opinion that Jagdish Chandra has done wrong not only to the party concerned, namely the petitioner, but his act undermines the authority of this Court and creates an atmosphere in the mind of the litigant public that even a subordinate officer may ignore the authority of the judicial orders. Any punishment awarded to Jagdish Chandra is not meant to be a lesson to him alone but also to the public at large in the higher interest of the society and the judicial administration of the State. In our opinion his apology is not a sincere and genuine one and his repeated contumacious acts require that he be punished. We therefore refuse to accept his apology.

27. The question then arises as to what punishment should be awarded to the contemners who have been found guilty of contempt of Court. There is no difficulty in the case of Jagdish Chandra Reader. He was a subordinate employee working under the District Magistrate and it appears that his actions were guided by the District Magistrate in evading service of the order. We are satisfied that the ends of justice shall be met by imposing on him fine only.

28. But while considering the quantum of punishment to Sri Anirudh Pandey, the erstwhile District Magistrate, Allahabad, different considerations arise. Normally for a civil contempt imposition of fine may meet the ends of justice but in a criminal contempt a different punishment may be necessary. Distinction between the civil and criminal nature of contempt is sometimes very thin. In a case where the contempt consists in a mere failure to carry out the orders meant for the benefit of a party, it is a civil contempt and when the party in whose interest the order is made initiates proceedings for action against the contemner with a view to enforcing his right the contempt proceedings are only in the form of execution and in such a case proceedings are not criminal in nature but in a case where the contemner adds defiance to disobedience of the order and acts in a manner which impairs the administration of justice, in that case the contempt committed by him is of a mixed character partaking as between him and his opponent of the nature of civil contempt and as between him and the Court or the State of the nature of criminal contempt he must be dealt with for the criminal part of the contempt. In such a case there can be no distinction drawn between civil and criminal contempt. If the action of the contemner consists in setting the order of this Court at naught and has a tendency to impair the efficacy of the machinery set up by the Constitution for the administration of justice, in that event the act of the contemner may amount to be an offence, and the contempt may be criminal in nature. Similar observations were made by a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court in Dulal Chand v. Sukumar Banerjee : AIR1958Cal474 .

29. In the instant case Sri Anirudh Pandey who is a senior J. A. S. Officer occupying the high post of the office of District Magistrate for the last several years was expected to act in a responsible manner befitting the high office he held. We art constrained to observe that he acted in a most irresponsible and reckless manner which exhibited his scant respect to the highest judicial institution of the State, A public officer like the District Magistrate is required to pass orders which affect life and property of citizens. He is required to act judicially many a time while exercising his powers under the statutory provisions of law. He is in fact the custodian of law and order in the District on the administrative side. He is a guide for local subordinate officers and officials and his conduct and his respect for law is bound to project in the administration of the district. If the the District Magistrate himself pays no respect to the High Court's order and deliberately flouts those orders and escapes consequence, in all likelihood that example may create a situation where the efficacy of the High Court order will be lost. The District Magistrate in our opinion, occupies a very important and significant post in the administrative machinery. He is therefore required to act in a circumspect and impartial manner and to act according to law, A contumacious action by the District Magistrate in defiance of the authority of this Court is bound to impair the administration of justice and to create an impression that high officers can devise ways and means to evade service of orders and obedience of the High Court orders. In the instant case the contumacious action of Sri Pandey is further aggravated by the fact that he employed a subterfuge to avoid compliance with the orders of this Court about which he had no reasonable doubt. While considering the quantum of punishment the Supreme Court in the case of Aligarh Municipality : 1970CriLJ1520 (Supra) observed:

It is thus clear that in a case where the contemner is found guilty of employing a subterfuge to avoid compliance of the order, the vindication of public interest requires penal action against the contemner.

30. In the light of the above observations and conduct of Sri Anirudh Pandey we are satisfied that the ends of justice will not be met by imposition of fine only. Sri Anirudh Pandey is in the habit of flouting the orders of the Court. On an earlier occasion he escaped consequences by tendering apology. In the instant case also there has been a Civil Court decree against the Police Department for its eviction which had been affirmed by the High Court the objections filed by the Collector and the Police Department were rejected by the Execution Court. Delivery of possession was obstructed by Police and Officials of the Police Department and the petitioners' men were assaulted. Contempt proceedings were initiated by the Civil Court and in those, circumstances Sri Pan-day passed the requisition order against the petitioners in respect of that very house. He evaded service of the interim, order of this Court. He did not take any steps to comply with the orders of the Court. He deliberately allowed the process of service of requisition order on the petitioners in a wilful manner to nullify the order of the Court. These facts eloquently speak thai Sri Pandey has scant respect for judicial orders. We are satisfied that he has been guilty of employing subterfuge to avoid compliance of this Court's order without there being any justification for the same. We are therefore, of the opinion that mere imposition of fine shall not meet the ends of justice in this case. Public interest and dignity of this Court and respect for law requires that he should be detained in civil prison.

31. We, therefore, direct that Sri Anirudh Pandey, the erstwhile District Magistrate, Allahabad, shall be taken into custody forthwith and shall be detained in civil prison for a period of two weeks for having committed contempt of this Court. We impose a fine of Rs. 500.00 (Five Hundred) only against Jagdish Chandra and in default he shall be detained in civil prison for a week. Since the proceedings were taken suo motu there will be no order as to costs.


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