1. On 24th April 1921, a suit was instituted by Ram Das against Sukhdarshan Prakash, for recovery of certain sums of money. On 1st September, Ram Das obtained a temporary injunction restraining the defendant from transferring his immovable property pending the decision of the suit. That interim injunction was served on the defendant on 3rd September 1926. He promptly disregarded it, treated it with contempt and on 8th October 1926, in plain definance of the order of the Court, executed a mortgage of part of his immovable property. A month later the temporary injunction was made absolute and a decree was obtained by Ram Das on 6th September 1927. On 20th December 1927, an application was made by the decree-holder bringing these circumstances to the notice of Mr. Bhagwan Das, who was then Assistant Sessions Judge at Meerut. The case was perfectly clear. It was one of contempt and the respondent had no possible excuse except that he was hard pressed which is no excuse in law at all for open defiance of a definite order of a Court, in a matter so solemn as that of injunction. Mr. Bhagwan Das made a very unusual order, which we shall quote in full:
Read the reply of Sukhdarshan Prakash. He says that he was hard pressed for money and had no alternative but to transfer the property. It appears that Sukhdarshan Prakash has been adjudicated an insolvent. I think it is no use taking action against him now under Order 39, Rule 2, Civil P.C. The application be filed.
2. Mr. Bhagwan Das entirely overlooked the fact that this man had been guilty of contempt of Court and therefore rightly amenable to punishment, The effect of Mr. Bhagwan Das's order would be most detrimental to the administration of justice, if followed by other Judges. Courts are bound to see that their orders are obeyed and litigants must respect such orders and realize that imprisonment is the normal usual punishment for a plain premeditated breach of an injunction. The order of Mr. Bhagwan Das was fortunately set right on 14th April 1928, on which date Mr. Smith, the District Judge had no difficulty in coming to the conclusion that Sukhdarshan Prakash deliberately disobeyed the injunction, and having no doubt as to his duty, whilst taking a most lenient view of the matter, ordered him to be detained for one month in the civil prison. It appears that Sukhdarshan Prakash has served some part of his sentence. Our order is that this appeal of Sukhdarshan Prakash be rejected with costs and that he return to the civil prison there to remain till the expiration of his sentence. On Sukhdarshan Prakash's surrender the bail bond will be cancelled, as well as his personal undertaking.