Mehar Singh, C.J.
1-11. (After narrating facts, the judgment continues as under:--)
The case then came before a Special Bench consisting of Dua. P. C. Pandit and Gurdev Singh JJ. on September 22. 1966, on which date the counsel who had been representing the petitioner reported that the petitioner had died and he was representing nobody in the case. On that the learned Judge said in their order that 'In these circumstances, we direct that notice of this case be given to the Advoratp-General so that he may assist this Court in the matter.' As the respondents ' were not present, they also issued notice to them for October 13,1986. On October 4, 1966, respondent 1 moved Criminal Miscellaneous application No. 1030 of 1906 referring to the death of the petitioner and the presence of some Judges of this Court at the funeral and then saying that 'It is, therefore, respectfully prayed that in the circumstances aforesaid, your Lordships may be pleased either to direct the counsel of the petitioner or his legal representative to pursue the proceedings or, in the alternative, declare the proceedings as incompetent' On October 11, 1966, Gurdev Singh J. directed that this petition by respondent 1 be placed before the Special Bench. On this petition coming before the Special Bench on October 13. 1966, the prayer was disallowed by the learned Judges, Dua J. speaking for the Bench observing that
'A contempt of Court is basically an offence against the Court and not against theJudge personally and it is punishable because of the necessity of maintaining thedignity of and respect towards the Court.The power to punish for a contempt is exercised to vindicate the Court's dignity. Lawreports are full of judicial decisions explaining the true purpose and wide scope and effect of the power of the superior Courts topunish for contempt and also the limitswithin which a litigant is entitled to insinuateagainst the Courts, This power quite clearly does not depend on the personal desire ofa private party whether or not to pursue theproceedings for contempt even though initiated by it. Proceedings for contempt areundisputably of quasi criminal nature. Thedeath of the party initiating contempt proceedings would, therefore, seem to us to beof the least import. Once the proceedingsget going, it quite clearly becomes a matterbetween contemner on the one hand, and, theCourt, of which the contempt is stated tohave been committed, on the other. Contempt of Court, if I may so put it is a mysterious and indefinable offence, being aseasy to commit as it is liable to speedy anddeserved punishment. Since the foundationof our present judicial system to punish forcontempt is really regarded as 'of its ownclass' (sui generis), in order to keep theCourts of justice free, impartial and objective. Courts by their very creation, are vested with the inherent power, inter alia, topreserve themselves from the approach ofpollution however subtly designed With thedeath of the person approaching this Courtwith the allegation of someone having committed contempt of Court, therefore the proceedings cannot he held to cease to be competent * * *
* * * * * If the proceedings do not become incompetent, then obviously there is no questior of calling upon the legal representatives of Sher Singh to pursue the proceedings.* * *
* * * * * The contention that there would be no one to reply to the respondents allegations or affidavits is wholly irrelevant, for this Court will proceed to pronounce orders on thematerial placed before it, and this Court would be entitled to draw whatever inferences in law are permissible on the existing material. The further submission that there would be no one whom the respondents can hold responsible for a miscohecived application is equally futile for the purpose of thisCourt in the present proceedings.
* * * * * * * * * * * * Shri Chetan Dass Dewan desires to press before us some of the averments made by the respondents in an application presented in the Court of the District and Sessions Judge, Karnal, for the transfer of the case out of which the present proceedings have arisen. The learned counsel wants to show that the respondents have not only been not repentant for what they have done but they have aggravated the contempt by making the application for transfer in the Court of the learned District and Sessions Judge. Indeed Shri Dewan submits that the subsequent acts of the respondents constitute a far clearer case of contempt and, therefore, this Court should proceed to take action on the basis of that application I may point out that an application was presented in this Court in November, 1965 (Criminal Miscellaneous 1094 of 1965 in Criminal Original 87 of 1965) with which was attached the notice and a copy of the application served on Shri Sher Singh in this application the only prayer the counsel seems to have pressed was that the documents produced be placed on the record and an order to that effect was made by Gurdev Singh J. on 8-12-1965. Obviously, the respondents had no notice of that application and quite clearly without such a notice, it would not be proper for us to proceed to consider the question of contempt on the basis of the application for transfer Faced with this situation. Shri Dewan asked for time to make an appropriate application in this court on the material now available so that the respondents may be given due notice of the case sought to be pressed by Shri Dewan. In the interest of justice. We consider it proper that the position of the learned Advocate-General be crystallised and made more clear than what we find from the application dated 5-7-1965. This would be fair to both the parties.'
12. The case was adjourned to October 18, 1966. On that date Mr. Chetan Dass Dewan, Deputy Advocate-General, made a petition which came before the Special Bench and it was marked as Criminal Original No. 184 of 1966, with the heading 'Puniab State v. 1. Shri Rule P Kapur and 2 Mr Shila Kapur respondents'. In this petition Mr Dewan referred to the details of the first contempt petition by the deceased petitioner with the facts in the Court of Mr R P Gaind, subordinate Judge 1st class at Karnal starting from June 2, 1965, to the stage of the transfer application coming before the District Judge of Karnal. He made reference to thefacts in detail. Then he referred to the second petition of the deceased petitioner made on November 19, 1965, the application of respondent 1 made on December 10, 1965, the parawise reply made by the respondents on January 3, 1966, to the original contempt petition of the deceased petitioner, also reproducing paragraphs 14, 16, 18, 20, 24, 25, 30 and 35 of the transfer application by respondent 2 through respondent 1 in the District Court, and then reproducing paragraphs 5, 6, 13 and 20 from the rejoinder of the respondents made on December 6, 1965, and the reply on January 3, 1966. He also reproduced paragraphs 1, 4, 8 and 11 of respondent 1's petition made on December 10, 1965, for having a reference of the matter to a larger Bench. On all this material the learned Deputy Advocate-General said that contempt of Court had been committed by the respondents. As a copy of that petition had not been given to the respondents, the learned Judges allowed time to them to make a reply. However, respondent 1 urged an oral preliminary objection that 'The present petition is incompetent in view of the pre-existing petition registered as Criminal Original 87 of 1965 He would like this Bench to hear oral preliminary objection now and adjudicate upon it He has also repeated his submissions that the original petition, dated 5-7-1965, should be heard and the petition presented today ruled out as incompetent'. The learned Judges pointing out that such an objection may be taken by the respondents in their reply observed that 'there is no question of splitting up the case into two separate parts on the existing record at this stage.' So the case was adjourned to October 25, 1966 for reply of the respondents with an order that arguments were to be heard 'on the entire case'.
(His Lordship then mentioned the application moved by the Respondent No. 1 on 18-10-1966 and after stating its contents, proceeded as under: -- )
13. In the meantime Dua J. having been appointed a Judge of the Delhi High Court, the Special Bench was re-constituted and then the case has been before the present Bench. On November 4, 1966, respondent 1 said that he had already filed a reply and that certain preliminary objections raised be decided as according to him, no reply on merits was necessary Respondent 2 had not filed any reply. So the case was adjourned to November 8, 1966, for the respondents to file any reply that they wished to do so Respondent 2 then filed her reply on November 6. 1966, in which most of what was stated by respondent 1 in his large number of previous petitions was reiterated. But certain parts of it, I consider, it is necessary to refer to at this stage. It is stated that
'the respondent invites the attention of the Hon'ble Court as to the need for an enquiry as to the circumstances in which the aforesaid application of an unauthorisedperson (Shri Chetan Dass) has been numbered as Criminal Original No. 184 of 1066'
'no further fresh application, in law, is entertainable without prior orders on the dismissal of the first application of Shri Sher Singh'
'in case of dismissal of that application, fresh rights of pleading and submissions accrue to the respondents which they cannot avail of in the present nebulsus state of affairs',
'the firm contention of the petitioner Sher Singh was not one of apprehension but of knowledge that respondent 1 had deliberately manoeuvred the letter in question; that the present applicant (Shri Chetan Dass) knowing that he could not himself prove this basic fact, has completely twisted the basic facts and has made himself guilty of contempt as also of offences under the Penal Code and that in the circumstances suitable action is prayed for.'
'the passages said to constitute contempt have not been specified and at this stage no reply is possible.'
'the production of the second letter as also of the first does not constitute any contempt and If the enquiry praved for had been held in such manner as the Court may think fit it would have cleared the air'
14. On November 8. 1966, respondent 1 started arguments and raised certain preliminary objections, including the obiection repeateadly pressed by him in his petitions that specific charges making allegations of contempt have not been supplied to the respondents. The arguments were not concluded and so when the case came up on November 9, 1966, Mr Chetan Dass Bewan the Deputy Advocate-General having been taken ill, it was adiourned to November 21. 1966. On this last date Mr Chetan Dass Dewan, the Deputy Advocate-General of Haryana produced before the Court a statement of facts and charges with regard to either respondent Those were considered and bv an order of the same date certain minor changes were made in the same The Deputy Advocate-General of Haryana was assisting the Court on a notice to that effect to the Advocate-General bv the Special Bench. Dua J. had already pointed out in the order of the Special Bench that the matter of contempt is not between a private partv and the contemner but between the Court and the contemner. So it was the duty of the Court to look into the statements of facts and charges and to make any such changes in the same as were considered appropriate.
As will appear from the order of November 21, 1966, minor changes weremade. Copies of the statements of facts and charges were given to respondent 1 and also to the counsel for respondent 2. The latter wanted an opportunity to have instruction from respondent 2 for the matter of accepting service of the same. On the very day, that is to say, on November 21, 1966, respondent 1 put in another petition under Section 561-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Criminal Miscellaneous No. 1207 of 1966) in which he reiterated that it was not possible to proceed with the case without the disposal of the preliminary matters first, that he was not aware of any subsequent directions of the Special Bench providing an occasion for the Deputy Advocate-General to come out with a fresh show-cause notice, that the many amendments suggested by me and by my learned brother, Grover, J., to the statement of facts and charges by the Duputy Advocate-General make 'a Court step into 'the arena' with the consequence that a Court loses the character of a Court', that
'the respectful submission of the respondents is that according to this Hon'ble Court, show-cause notice has already been served on the respondents, but it is a nullity in law as submitted by the respondents: Rule P. Kapur 21-11-1966'
'the two previous petitions viz. Criminal Original No. 87 of 1965 and No. 184 of 1966, two Miscellaneous Petitions Nos. 1059 and 1069 of 1966, admitted as separate petitions, and the preliminary objections of the parties be disposed of first, and that the Hon'ble Court, as already prayed, be pleased to hold an inquiry into the matter on record pertainine to Rule S Narula J and Harbans Singh J., as without such inquiry it cannot be ascertained whether there was fair criticism or fair belief permitted by the law of contempt or contempt of Court.'
The case was then adiourned to December 12, 1966, for reply of respondent 2. On December 8, 1966, respondent 2 filed her replv raising somewhat similar matters as by respondent 1 in his last-mentioned petition
15. The statements of facts and charges, dated November 21, 1966, served on the respondents are for all practical purposes exactly the same The statements allege contempt oi Court having been committed by each of the respondents on four counts The first count refers to Suit No 178 of 1961 between the respondents' society and the deceased petitioner the production of the anonymous letter Annexure 'C' on June 2, 1965 by respondent 1 in the Court of the Subordinate Judge at Karnal with Paragraphs 2 to 4 of the accompanying application. Annexure 'B' by respondent 1, and then says that 'the content of the letter in so far as it states that the pressure was being exercised through Hon'ble Mr. Justice Harbans Singh and Shri Rule S Sarkaria. Registrar of this Court, upon the learned Sub-Judge obviously for the disposal of the abovementioned suit favourable to late Shri Singh, insinuates that the learned Sub-Judge was amenable to outside influence and was a reflection upon his Judicial integrity and was likely to embarrass the dispensation of justice and interfere with the course thereof In producing such a letter in the Court you committed Contempt of Court of Shri Rule P. Gaind, Sub-Judge 1st Class, Karnal, as also of Mr. Justice Harbans Singh, a Judge of this Court'. As to the second count, after referring to the order of the trial Court on June 4, 1965, stating that there had been no approach to it by anybody, application by respondent 1 of June 12, 1965, for the return of the anonymous letter Annexure 'C', with its cover, and the trial Court's order of the same date, the subsequent contempt petition, Criminal Original No. 87 of 1965, by the deceased petitioner on July 5. 1965. with the order of Narula J., on it only July 6, 1965, and Paragraphs 9 to 18 of the transfer application under Section 24 of the Code of Civil Procedure made by respondent 2, through respondent 1, in the Court of the District Judge at Karnal it says that
'these allegations attribute ulterior motive and partiality to the Court of the learned Sub-Judge. 1st Class. Karnal, in the discharge of his judicial functions and scandalise it and lower its prestige and dignity in the eyes of public and further shake their confidence in the administration of justice dispensed by the said Court In associating yourself with these allegations aa an attorney of Shrimati Sheela Kapur you have thus committed contempt of the said Sub-Judge.'
Under count 3 there is reference to respondents' rejoinder of December 6, 1965, with Annexures I to VII, with particular reference to Paras. 4 to 0 of it, then to Part 3 of Paragraph 5 of respondents' parawise reply, dated January 4. 1966, to the same petition. Para. 11 of respondent 1's petition, dated December 10, 1965, for constitution of a Full Bench for hearing the petition, and Paras. 14 and 16 of the transfer application of September 13, 1965, filed by respondent 2, through respondent 1, in the Court of the District Judge at Karnal and then it says that
'by making these allegations, taken with or without those made in the aforementioned application for transfer of the suit, you have accused or in any case sufficiently insinuated against Hon'ble Mr. Justice R. S. Narula, a Judge of this Court, of having made the order directing issue of a notice of contempt to you on considerations extraneous to the merits of the contempt petition lodged by late Shri Sher Singh and have thus attacked and scandalised the judicial integrity of the Hon'ble Judge and thereby committed contempt of Court'.
Count 4 refers to the second anonymous letter, Annexure VII with the respondents'rejoinder of December 6, 1965, and then says that
'The contents of this letter are a reflection upon the judicial integrity of the High Court and impair the prestige and dignity of the Court and further shake the confidence of the public in its administration of justice. By producing this letter in the Court and making it public you have committed contempt of this Court.'
These are the details of the statement of facts and charges on the four counts so far as respondent 1 is concerned. As stated; a similar notice with slight modification, omitting the part with which respondent 2 has not been concerned, was also served on respondent 2 After some adjournments allowed at the request of the respondents for an approach to the Supreme Court in matters arising out of these proceedings, respondent I filed his reply on February 13, 1967, to the statement of facts and charges incorporating four counts of his having committed contempt of Court and respondent 2 by an application of the same date adopted the stand taken by respondent I in Ms reply.
16. In his reply respondent I said that there were three show-cause notices at present on the record and that as the third show-cause notice culled out only certain parts from a series of petitions, the portions so culled out be real not only as textual part of the petition in question, but also an integral part of the entire case as it has developed from time to time in the Court of the Subordinate Judge at Karnal, in the Court of the District and Sessions Judge at Karnal, before Gurdev Singh, J., and before the Special Bench. He further pointed out that a parawise reply in view of the above was not possible, but proceeded to make his submissions on the four counts on which contempt has been alleged against him. On the first count he said that in law the dominant purpose or the intention has to be seen. The anonymous tetter, Annexure 'C', was accompanied by a specific petition of June 2, 1965, in which a specific request for an inquiry was made and that any demand for an inquiry has to be supported by some reasonable grounds and further that he was possessed of several other facts, but the very fact that he chose to exercise restraint would show that he had no ulterior motive. Then he refers to the concluding part of the order, dated June 4, 1965, of the learned Subordinate Judge, and the suggestion that he may get an inquiry conducted through other agency if he so desired, and both the Subordinate Judge and the District Judge declined to go into the matter of inquiry.
On count 2 he said that the whole of the transfer application should be read and not only a few paragraphs reproduced In the statements of facts and charges, that no objection could be taken to the contents of paragraphs 9 to 18 in the trans-fer application on a proper examination of the same, because in such a petition justification for grave or serious apprehension is necessary, that a transfer is always sought on allegations personal to the presiding officer and that has to be done per force, that 'in spite of a very spirited and vindictive reply of the learned Sub-Judge, as is clear from a bare perusal of his reply, all the cases and not only this case pending in his Court were transferred, which would show that the learned District and Sessions Judge found force and strength in the statement of facts adduced and submissions of the then petitioner' that while no defamatory statements were made in the transfer application, anv defamatory statements about the conduct of a Judge even in respect of his judicial duties do not necessarily constitute contempt of Court, and that respondent 2 and her attorney respondent 1 continued pursuing the suit in the Court of the Subordinate Judge at Karnal tn spite of his having refused to make an inquiry into the contents of the letter (Annexure 'C').
With regard to count 3 he said that
'the real statement to which exception is sought to be taken, merely ftated that Hon'ble Mr Justice Narula having been a counsel for and against the respondent, and due to other circumstances of the case, should not have entertained the contempt petition. That this statement, which is every now and then corroborated by their Lordships of the High Court, as quite a number of the Judges hall from the judiciary, and in open Court they have declined to hear cases in which they have been earlier counsel for one of the clients'
He further pointed out that in spite of a telegram and an express letter by the deceased petitioner to the Subordinate Judge at Karnal that he would move the High Court immediately during the vacation, 'nosuch step was taken till the Hon'ble Mr. Justice Narula came to the Bench as a Vacation Judge and the said contempt petition was moved immediately after that Referring to the contents of his rejoinder petition of December 6, 1965, and parawlse reply of January 4, 1966, he said that the same
'would show that again there was a demand for an inquiry and an inquiry cannot be justified without a comprehensive tatement of facts and allegations sought to be enquired.'
On the last count the stand taken by respondent I was that an inquiry was requested especially as the second letter (Annexure VII) gave further information and could throw light on the first letter (Annexure 'C'), and that there was no motive In this demand for an Inquiry to cast any 'reflection upon the judicial integrity of the High Court', which, as a collective body is distinct from the integrity of a Single Judge. In sub-paragraph (c) of Para. III of this reply the respondent said that 'It is furthersubmitted that an inquiry in its scope was not calculated to be against a Judge, but could equally be against the actions of Sher Singh, the defendant in the suit, or even the petitioner therein.' He pointed out that the request for inquiry was reasonable.
17. The matter was then argued by respondent 1 on his own behalf as also on behalf of respondent 2. On February 14, 1967, he made an application for summoning of witnesses, and in paragraph 4 of it he said, after referring to Bathina Ramakrishna Reddv v The State of Madras. (1952) 3 SCR 425, at p. 434: (AIR 1952JSC 149 at p.. 153), and Brahma Prakash v. State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1954 SC 10, at p. 13, that
'that being the state of law, an inquiry is essential to find out whether the allegations or imputations were true or not and were for public good or not'.
In Paragraph 6 of this application he listed these witnesses for being summoned -
(a) Hon'ble Mr. Justice Rule S. Narula,
(b) Hon'ble Mr. Justice Harbans Singh,
(c) Shri Rule P. Gaind. Subordinate Judge Karnal,
(d) Shri Chetan Dass Dewan, Deputy Advocate-General, Haryana,
(e) Shri Mehtab Singh Bakhshi, an Advocate of Delhi,
(f) Shri Kartar Singh,
(g) Shri Ram Lal, and
(h) Shri Pannu Ram.
It will be seen that of the last three, the first was a witness for the deceased petitioner in the suit between the parties In the Court of the Subordinate Judge. 1st class at Karnal, about the second, the deceased petitioner said that after an application under section 476 of the Code of Criminal Procedure by respondent, 1, he refused to appear for him in the suit, and in fact there is a copy of his statement on the record which shows that later he appeared for the respondents society in that suit, and the third was also a witness, but it is not quite clear whether he was or was not examined in the suit. The first two witnesses are two Judges of this Court, the third is a Subordinate Judge at Karnal who was trying the suit between the deceased petitioner and the respondents' society and the fifth was a counsel for the deceased petitioner in that suit. The fourth witness is the Deputy Advocate-General of Haryana who has been assisting this Court in these proceedings under an order of the Court to that effect addressed to the Advocate-General. The application apparently does not disclose in what connection each one of those witnesses was sought to be summoned in these proceedings. On February 17, 1967, respondent 1 then on the matter of the production of evidence In these proceedings made this application-
'The proposed evidence on behalf of the respondents will be on the following aspects:-
(1) That the maintenance of public confidence In the Integrity of Courts being theaprimary purpose of contempt proceedings, the respondents wish to lead evidence by putting in responsible public men whether the acts 'impaired that confidence or were calculated to impair it:
(2) That the second ingredient of contempt being substantial interference or substantial tendency to interfere with the course of justice, which are questions of fact, the respondents wish to prove that there was no such effect or tendency: and
(3) That each ingredient of the four charges in the show-cause notice is contested and will be proved false by concrete evidence '
18. There are a number of preliminary objections raised bv respondent 1 on behalf of the respondents and those may be considered first The first objection is that arguments in these proceedings cannot possibly fruitfully proceed when the original petitioner, Sher Singh, is dead, but complete answer to this was given by Dua J. in the Special Bench order of October 13, 1966. In this respect what has been pressed by respondent 1 is that while in his first contempt petition (Criminal Original No. 87 of 1965) the deceased petitioner had said, in reference to the production of the anonymous letter Annexure 'C', that
'this application was a clever device adopted by respondent 1 personally and also as representing the Society with a view to prejudice the Court against the petitioner'. Mr. Chetan Dass Dewan, Deputy Advocate-General of Haryana in his compendious application, has given a twist to this bv saving in Paragraph 7 that
'apprehending that Shri Rule P. Kapur, respondent 1, had manoeuvered the letter above-mentioned and actually tried to influence the Court and impede the dispensation of Iustice, Shri Sher Singh filed an application, dated 5-7-1965. Criminal Original No. 87 of 1965 for contempt of Court against respondents .
It has, been said that what was previously based on the knowledge of the deceased petitioner is no longer so and as the petitioner has died and his knowledge in that respect cannot be established, the whole basis of the original petition has gone The learned Deputy Advocate-General has pointed out that the question who wrote the letter to respondent 1 is entirely immaterial What is material, according to him, is the production of that letter by respondent 1 in Court. In this I consider that the approach of the learned Deputy Advocate-General is correct. So, there is no substance in this contention on the side of the respondent. Respondent 1 takes the consequences of producing the anonymous letter in the Court and he cannot shield himself behind this that somebody else, unknown, wrote this letter to him. Tn in re, Subrahmanyan. AIR 1943 Lah 329 (FB), it was held by a Full Bench of the Lahore High Court that in contempt of Courtproceedings the fact that the item alleged to be contempt merely consists of quotations from other source would afford no defence if the article amounted to contempt because a person mav be as much guilty of contempt bv quoting from some source as writing the matter himstlf. In this respect it has further been urged by respondent 1 that the fresh compendious petition by the learned Deputy Advocate-General is not arguable, but it is not quite clear how that is so. That petition merely brings together at one place all the allegations spread over the record of the case connected with and arising out of the two petitions made by the deceased petitioner under Section 3 of Act 32 of 1952. There is nothing new in that petition.
19. The second objection urged by respondent 1 has been that since the death of the original petitioner there is nobody who can take the consequences flowing from the fresh compendious petition filed by the learned Deputy Advocate-General or the show-cause notice served on the respondents thereafter, but this argument was urged before the previous Special Bench and was negatived in its order of October 13. 1966.
20. Another objection of respondent 1 has been that the compendious petition filed by Mr Chetan Dass Dewan the Deputy Advocate-General, is not supported by any affidavit but, in the circumstances of the case, since that petition proceeds only to collate the facts already available on the record from the documents also already available, no affidavit is necessary. Same view prevailed with a Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court in M. G. Kadir v. Kesri Narain Jaitly, AIR 1945 All 67. In this connection it has also been argued by respondent 1 that Mr Chetan Dass Devan, Deputy Advocate-General, has no locus standi to make that compendious petition filed on October 18, 1966, because he had no authority to make that petition The argument is misconceived because on a notice issued to the Advocate-General to assist the Court the learned Deputy Advocate-General has been assisting the Court, and he made this application in those circumstances. It is the Court that has directed him to assist it and he was not required to have any authoritv for that from anvbodv else
21. The fourth objection by respondent 1 has been that at the last stage when this Special Bench started hearing the case it could not proceed against the respondents suo motu This again is misconceived because Dua J. in the Special Bench order of October 13 1966, pointed out that in contempt proceedings it is a matter between the Court and the contemner. So it is the Court which has to proceed with the present proceedings and to see if there is any material which establishes a charge of contempt against any of the two respondents.Respondent 1 has pressed that on the first contempt petition by the deceased petitioner, the respondents were asked to explain their position and so they had a show-cause notice of that petition', afterwards when the second contempt petition was filed by tht deceased respondent, Gurdev Singh J. merely filed the papers, and so by that order of Gurdev Singh J. the matter is concludedand nothing connected with the second contempt petition by the deceased petitioner can now be considered. The Special Bench on October 13, 1966, had this whole matter before it and, on the learned Deputy advocate-General pointing out that in connection with the documents filed with the second contempt petition by the deceased petitioner the respondents had committed further contempt of the Court, it permitted him to state the ease at one place by makingan application and that is how he made the application of October 18, 1966, After that respondent 1 has repeatedly in his various petitions and applications and during the arguments pressed that definite and specific statement of charges must be given to the respondents to enable them to take proper defence. It was in the wake of that what is in full detail stated in the compendious petition of the learned Deputy Advocate-General filed on October 18, 1966, that was reduced to the form of statements of facts and charges on November 21, 1966, and each such statement was given to each one of the two respondents. There is no new case. What is stated in the compendious petition of the learned Deputy Advocate-General and the statements of facts and charges on November 21, 1966, is exactly the same thing, and it emerges out of the two contempt petitions filed by the deceased petitioner and the replies given to the same by the respondents at various times. Tht whole thing is based on documents available on the record. It has been said by respondent 1 that the statement of facts and charges of November 21, 1966, is a third show-cause notice to the respondents. But this is not the correct way of looking at that. The whole material has existed on the record before the learned Deputy Advocate-General on the asking of the Court came to assist it. He put it together in the petition filed on October 18, 1966 On the insistence of respondent 1 that has been reduced to the formal form of statement of facts and charges on November 21, 1966, and given to each one of the respondents
22. There has been a fifth objection by respondent 1 that the preliminary matters or rather the first contempt petition of the deceased petitioner should be disposed of first and later it was said that the compendious petition by the learned Deputy Advocate-General filed on October 18, 1966, should also be disposed of first. This the earlier Special Bench refused by its order of October 13. 1966, and we also refused by subsequent orders. Then respondent 1 haspressed that by the decision in that mannera question of res judicata might have arisen to favour the respondents. He considers that if the first contempt petition of the deceased petitioner and the compendious petition by the learned Deputy Advocate-General filed on October 18, 1966, were dismissed, any further proceedings will give the respondents a defence of res judicata that no further proceedings in contempt can be taken against them.
It has already been explained that the whole thing is one matter based on the two original contempt petitions filed by the deceased petitioner, the documents with the same, the replies, of the respondents and the documents produced by them, and while in the beginning all those documents were lying unarranged on the file, the compendious petition of the learned Deputy Advocate-General has merely stated them in an arranged form and the subsequent statements of facts and charges of November 21, 1966, merely give the same material a formal shape. So no question of res judicata could possibly arise in a matter like this. The Special Bench had on October 13, 1966, dismissed the argument on the side of the respondents that the first contempt petition of the deceased petitioner should fail because of his death. So this argumtnt is no longer open to the respondents in this respect it has also been pointed out by respondent I that in the midst of proceedings this Court cannot issue a fresh show-cause notice to the respondents, but as explained, this is not so. The whole material has been available on the record to the knowledge of the respondents, it was placed before the Court in an arranged form in the compendious petition of the Deputy Advocate-General, and it has been reduced to a formal form in the statements of facts and charges on November 21, 1966.
23. The sixth objection of respondent 1 was that the respondents should be given specific charges alleging contempt of Court so that they may have propet defence and that was exactly done on November 21, 1966, whereupon respondent 1 has turned round and contended that that is a third show-cause notice which the Court could not serve on the respondents in the midst of thp proceedings. It has already been shown that this argument is entirelv without basis
24. The seventh objection bv respondent 1 has been that the present Special Bench has been constituted, or for that matter even the previous Special Bench was constituted, not for the disposal of the contempt proceedings against the respondents arising out of the two contempt proceeding filed by the deceased respondent but to decide respondent 1's claim for some kind of an inquiry which he has been pressing in this respect, he says, from the very beginning starting from the Court of the Subordi-nate Judge 1st Class at Karnal, into what ara the contents of the anonymous letter An-nexure 'C'. Respondent 1 in his petition of December 10, 1965, prayed for reference of the matter to a larger Bench and in the respondents' parawise reply of January 4, 1966, it is stated at the end that 'the contempt petition be dismissed and if the Honble Court is inclined to take further notice of it, the Hon'ble Single Judge be pleased to refer it to a Bench of three Judges as the conduct of two Judges would be involved as submitted in the petition dated 10-12-1965.' It is on these petitions that the learned Judge made reference to a larger Bench and it has already been stated that the reference is of the contempt proceedings against the respondents to a larger Bench and not of anything also as respondent 1 seems to think. So nothing turns on this objection.
25. The last preliminary objection by respondent 1 is that the learned Deputy Advocate-General could only exhibit information as in his compendious petition of October, 18. 1966, with the sanction of the State Government according to Section 194 (2)(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and that no such sanction has been obtained by him in this case. But it was held by their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Sukhdev Singh v Chief Justice and Judges of the Pepsu High Court, (1954) SCR 454: (AIR 1954 SC 186), that the Code of Criminal Procedure does not apply to contempt proceedings, Respondent 1 has said that that is so, but Section 194 of the Code of Criminal Procedure applies to the learned Deputy Advocate-General. It has already been stated that the Deputy Advocate-General has been appearing in this case to assist the Court and there is no question of application of Section 194 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to him in these proceedings
26. There is then the argument of respondent 1 that the summary procedure provided in contempt matters in this Court is discriminatory inasmuch as it is a procedure entirely different from the procedure for the trial of a criminal offence under the Code of Criminal Procedure and thus it is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. He has referred to Section 3 (1) of Act 32 of 1952 that the High Court has to follow 'the same procedure and practice' in the matter of contempt proceedings, which, as has been pointed out bv their Lordships in Sukhdev Singh's case 1954 SCR 454-(AIR 1954 SC 186), is a summary procedure and has been followed under the law throughout and continues to be so under Act 32 of 1952. Article 215 of the Constitution provides that 'Even High Court shall be a Court of Record and shall have all the powers of such a Court including the power to punish for contempt of Itself Tn a way even the Constitution has recognised the power of a Court of record to punish for contempt of Court summarily as has alwaysbeen the case. It is a peculiar type of an offence which is a class by itself and, therefore, it has a procedure for itself. The classification is intelligible as also the classification has rational relation to the object in that in the matter of contempt the punishment is awarded summarily for that is done not with the object of providing protection to individual Judges but in the Interest of administration of justice so that the public confidence in the impartiality of the Judges be not shaken. It is this object with which the proceedings in contempt of Court have been classified as proceedings of a class by themselves with a procedure of their own. So the procedure provides for the summary trial of the contempt of Court is not violative of Article 14.
27. Another argument that has been urged by Respondent 1 is that that procedure is violative of Article 19(1)(a) as affecting the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression, but there is Sub-article (2) of Article 19 which says that
'Nothing in Sub-clause (a) of Clause (1) shall affect the operation of any existing law or prevent the State from making any law in so far as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause..................in relation to contempt of Court'
Respondent 1 has urged that the summary procedure for the offence of contempt of Court is not a reasonable restriction because it deprives the contemner of effective right to defend himself as is available in the rase of other offences, but it has already been pointed out that this is an offence of a class by itself and the procedure for it is provided in the public interest for the protection of the public so that they may not lose confidence in the Courts On this consideration it cannot be said that the procedure provided for the trial of contempt of Court in a summary wav is an unreasonable restriction, as has been urged by respondent 1. In State v Brahma Prakash. AIR 1950 All 556 (FB), a similar argument was negatived bv the learned Judges. This case went in appeal to the Supreme Court and is reported as AIR 1954 SC 10. but the appellant in that case did not even urge this argument before their Lordships. Same view has prevailed in Bijoyananda v. Balakrushna. AIR 1953 Orissa 249 Harnarain Singh Sheoji Singh v Gurnani Ram. AIR 1958 Punj 273. Advocate-General Andhra Pradesh v D Seshagiri Rao. ILR (1959) Andh Pra 1282 and in the matter of Basanta Chandra Ghosh, AIR 1960 Pat 430 (FB) Thus there is no force in this argument of respondent 1 either.
28. It has then been contended by respondent 1 that this Court is not competent to nroceed with these contempt nroceedings The reason given is that in Section 2 of Act 12 of 1952 High Court' is defined to mean 'the High Court for a State', and thecommon High Court of Punjab and Haryana is not a High Court for the State of Haryana, in which the court of the Subordinate Judge 1st Class at Karnal is situate, or for that matter not a High Court for the Union Territory of Chandigarh. In this respect reference has been made to Section 89 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966 (Act 31 of 1966) which gives power to the State of Punjab or Haryana or to the Union Territory of Chandigarh to make such adaptation and modifications of the law, whether by way of repeal or amendment, as may be necesary or expedient, and it has been said by the respondents that no such adaptation has been made in relation to Section 2 of Act 32 of 1952, which is correct. However, no such adaptation has really been necessary because this High Court is a High Court for the State of Punjab it is a High Court for the State of Haryana, and it a High Court for the Union Territory of Chandigarh, and thus it is within the definition of the expression 'High Court' in Section 2 of Act 32 of 1952. And, in any case, in view of Section 13(2) of the General Clauses Act, 1897 (Act 10 of 1897), saying that 'the words in the singular shall include the plural, and vice versa', the words 'a State' in Section 2 of Act 32 of 1952 shall be read as 'States'. So this argument is without substance.
29. Of the four counts in regard to which contempt of Court is alleged to have been committed by the respondents, count 2 refers to paras 9 to 18 of the transfer application made on September 13, 1965, by respondent 2 through respondent 1, in the Court of the District Judge at Karnal to obtain transfer of the case between the respondents' society and the deceased petitioner to some other Court. Briefly, the substance of what is stated in those paragraphs, which is objectionable, is that the Subordiante Judge (Mr. R P.Gaind) by his order of June 4, 1965, Annexure IV to the rejoinder of the respondents, in saying that no approach had been made to him by anybody in the case between the parties and by refusing to hold inquiry into the anonymous letter. Annexure 'C', created serious apprehension in the minds of the respondents as to his motive in not ordering probe into the alleged conduct of the petitioner (defendant), and that the return of the anonymous letter, Annexure 'C' was delayed for nearly three to four weeks, thus, according to the respondents giving security to the petitioner (defendant) bv what has been described by them as a collusive act of the Subordinate Judge which enabled him (the petitioner) to file his first contempt petition in the High Court on his own choosing of time and forum. The contempt of Court Imputed to the respondents in this respect, so far as the Court of the Subordinate Judge. Mr. Rule P. Gaind, is concerned, is broadly on the basis of imputation of motive to him in not ordering probe into the contents of Annexure 'C' and in the delay of the return of that letter, andthe alleged collusive act by him in this respect to enable the petitioner to file the contempt petition. These allegations were made by the respondents in the transfer application under Section 24 of the Code of Civil Procedure as stated. The respondents have explained that in such an application, in the nature ot things, allegations personal to a presiding judicial officer have to be alleged so as to be a ground for transfer. And it is said that the same were made by the respondents in good faith having regard to the circumstances, though it becomes clear from the comments of Mr R P. Gaind, Subordinate Judge, given on the transfer application, a substantial part of which has already been reproduced above, that he was not responsible for the delay and had no motive in not ordering the inquiry as he was not approached, and that it was respondent 1 who wai responsible for delay
In State of Madhya Pradesh v. Revashankar (1959) SCR 1367 at pp. 1382 and 1383 - (AIR 1959 SC 102 at pp. 106 & 107) there is reference to the matter of a transfer application and allegations therein against a judicial officer and the intention with which the allegations may have been made. But the consideration is in relation to the question of intention to offer insult under Section 228 of the Penal Code and the discussion is confined to that aspect only. So those observations are of no assistance in the present case Although the facts in M. Y. Shareef v. Hon'ble Judges of the High Court of Nagpur. 1955(1) SCR 757 - (AIR 1955 SC 19), are not parallel to the facts of the present case, but in that case their Lordships did take into consideration the mistaken view of the contemners of their right and duties in subscribing to the transfer application by their client making aspersions against the Judges, which were said to amount of contempt of Court. The respondents have obviously taken a mistaken and a misconceived view of the facts on the basis of which they have drawn unjustified inferences as appears clear from the comments of the learned trial Judge on the state of facts in this behalf, in regard to the manner in which the learned Subordinate Judge handled the question of the application of respondent 1 accompanying the anonymous letter, Annexure 'C'. So that it becomes doubtful whether with such mistaken and misconceived approach the offence of contempt of Court in this respect can be said to have been committed by the respondents substantially and. in any case, it amounts to no more than a technical contempt of which the Court does not take notice. This, however does not mean that merely because allegations amounting to contempt of Court have been made in a transfer petition no action will be taken in a proper case. It depends upon the tacts and circumstances of a case whether action is called for and an instance of such a case is Revashankar'i case, 1959 SCR 1367 - (AIR 1959 SC 102).
The substance of the charge under count 3 is an indirect imputation of extraneous consideration on which Narula J. made the order of July 6, 1965, on the first contempt petition of the petitioner but this is shrouded in a tumble of facts and does not come out very clearly. Respondent 1 in his replies of December 6, 1965 and January 3, 1966. refers to relationship between Harbans Singh J. and Narula J. the fact of Harbans Singh J 's son having business connections with the petitioner and also the fact of Narula J., before his coming to the Bench, having been counsel for or against the respondents In his application of December 10, 1965, respondent 1, in addition, refers to some kind of negotiations said to have been carried on for the letting of the Delhi house of Narula, J. which respondent 1 alleges that he refused to take on rent. After referring to all these allegations respondent 1 has said that Narula J. should not have entertained the contempt petition of the petitioner on July 6, 1965. There is then reference to paragraphs 14 and 16 from the transfer application of the respondents made on September 10, 1965, in which the respondents said that the deceased petitioner (defendant) got an order from Narula J. on his contempt petition and then there is reference to the delay in the return of the anonymous letter. Annexure 'C' by the trial Judge with an allegation of his thus being a party to a collusive act to enable the deceased petitioner to file the contempt petition in the High Court on his own choosing of time and forum The respondents have explained that by what is stated in those applications all that thev were pressing was that in the circumstances Narula J should not have passed an order on the contempt petition of the petitioner. The contents of those applications largely touch upon the conduct of the deceased petitioner (defendant) and it can only be said in an indirect way that by saving that the petitioner got an order on his contempt petition in the High Court on his own choosing of time and forum they have in some way hinted upon Narula J having made the order on an extraneous consideration which does not mean that the learned Judgfr did so. This however, doeb not quite clearly come out, as has been stated, and as the contempt proceedings are quasi-criminal proceedings, so in this respect the respondents are entitled to the benefit of doubt. Sn the contempt proceedings against both the respondents on counts 2 and 3 are in the circumstances dropped.
30. In regard to count 1 referring to the anonymous letter Annexure 'C' with the application. Annexure 'B' bv respondent 1, it has been clearly stated bv respondent 1 in paragraph 19 of the respondents' rejoinder, dated December 6, 1965, that he 'never received any instructions from respondent 2 to file the petition at Annexure 'B' or the consequential petitions' So respondent 2 has no responsibility for thatact of respondent 1. Similarly Annexure VII, a copv of the second anonymous letter, was filed with the same reioinder of the respondents, but the reioinder is signed by respondent 1 for himself and for respondent 2 It follows that the responsibility of filing of Annexure VII in this Court cannot directly be referred to respondent 2. In the circumstances, the contempt proceedings are dropped against respondent 2 even in regard to counts 1 and 4.
31. On counts 1, the learned Deputy Advocate-General having regard to the observations of their Lordships of the Supreme Court in the cases of Bathina Ramakrishna Reddy, 1952-3 SCR 425 = (AIR 1952 SC 149) and Brahma Prakash Sharma AIR 1954 SC 10 has said that so far as that count refers to Harbans Singh J., it cannot be supported. There is under this court, however, the question of the contempt of Court of the Court of Mr. R, P. Gaind. Subordinate Judge 1st Class at Karnal, having been committed by the production of the anonymous letter. Annexure 'C', with the application, Annexure 'B' by respondent 1 on June 2, 1965. In the anonvmous letter, Annexure 'C' after reference to two witnesses named Kartal Singh and Pannu Ram as being interested in the deceased petitioner, the letter says that Sarkaria Sahib and Harbans Singh were outline pressure on the Subordinate Judge, and the contents of the accompanying application, Annexure 'B' make it clear, according to respondent 1. that the reference to those names in the anonvmous letter is to Harbans Singh J and the Registrar of this Court. Mr Raniit Singh Sarkaria. When the contents, of the anonymous letter and the accompanying application are considered together, it is apparent on the face of those document.' that the production of the same was calculated to embarrass the trial Judge and also to affect his mind and to deflect him from the strict performance of his duties in the trial of the suit between the respondents' society and the deceased petitioner. There is a cleat allegation in the documents that the Subordinate Judge was being approached by one Judge of this Court and the Registrar in connection with the case between the respondents society and the deceased petitioner This apparently was bound to affect the mind of the Subordinate Judge because he is an officer subordinate to the High Court and then if in this manner an imputation is made in regard to a Judge of the High Court as interfering with the administration ot iustice in a Subordinate Court, the Subordinate Judge would not know what he was to expect next even so far as he himself was concerned It is thus patent that bv the production of that ahonvmous lettei with the application not only was the mind of the Subordinate Judge likely to be affected bv it the production of those documents was calculated to emharrass him and was in attempt to influence him as a Judge in the cause between the respondents socie-ty and the deceased petitioner It created an atmosphere calculated to make it difficult for the trial Judge to proceed with the trial of the case. It is settled that so far as the offence of contempt of Court is concerned, the essence of the matter is the tendency to interfere with the due course of justice. Any act or publication calculated to create an atmosphere in which administration of justice would be difficult. AIR 1943 Lah. 329, at p.335, or which is an attempt to influence a Judge (Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung v. Ravner and Keelor. Ltd., (1960) 3 All ER 289, at page 298), or which might impede the due administration of Justice (Arthur Reginald Perera v. R (1951) AC 482 at p 488), or which is an attempt to impair the administration of lustiee (Andre Paul Terence Ambard v. Attorney-General of Trinidad and Tobago, AIR 1936 P C 141 at p 146, or which is likely to cause embarrassment in the mind of the Judge himself in the discharge of his judicial duties (Brahma Prakash Sharma's case, AIR 1954 SC 10 at p. 14) or which would affect the mind of the Judge and would deflect him from the strict performance of his duties as such (Brahma Prakash Sharma's case, AIR 1954 SC 10 at p 15, and In re Hira Lal Dixit (1965) I S C R 677, at p. 685 = (AIR 1954 SC 743 at pp. 746. 747)) is contempt of Court In the present case the production of the anonymous letter with the application by respondent 1 was not only an attempt to influence the Judge in the trial of the suit before him but it was calculated to embarrass him in and deflect him from the strict performance of his duties as a Judge in the cause. It has been contended bv respondent 1 that the fact is that the Subordinate Judge was not at all embarrased or affected by the production of those documents, a consideration which is irrelevant in these proceedings, because what has to be seen is whether what is done is likely or has tendency or is calculated to interfere with the due course of administration of justice, and that is to maintain the public confidence in the administration of lustiee so that the impartiality of the Judges is not impaired. The production of those documents, as stated, created an atmosphere in the Court of the trial Judge in which due and proper administration of justice was rendered difficult
It has further been urged bv respondent 1 that all the surrounding facts and circumstances under which those documents were produced have to be taken into consideration as held by their Lordships in Brahma Prakath Sharma's case. AIR 1954 SC 10 at p. 15. What then are the circumstances in which those documents were produced in Court? In the transfer application of September 13, 1965 respondent 2, through respondent 1, said that the suit between the respondents' society and the deceased petitioner had been instituted in June 1961 but it has not reached any conclusive stage, so tired of the prevaricating attitude (whichpossibly may refer to the deceased petitioner, but the matter is not clear), the respondents society decided to appoint respondent 1, a director of it, as its attorney to conduct the suit. The trial Judge in his comments on the allegations in the transfer application, the details of which have already been reproduced above, said that the parties were at daggers drawn and wanted to use the litigation between them for personal vendetta, that the attorney for the plaintiff-society said that he was not interested in the suit so much as in the prosecution of the defendant (deceased petitioner), that the case was being conducted by a very senior and able Advocate from Ambala but just to have a personal battle of wits, the attorney, respondent 1, entered the field to replace the counsel, and that perhaps by his personal influence respondent 1 expected to dictate judicial orders of his own choice but that was not possible in civil Courts. In his reply to the transfer application, the deceased petitioner in paragraph 2 said that-
'The applicant (respondent 1) has mentioned various facts which are absolutely false and others are prevaricated. Although the petitioner, Mr Rule P. Kapur, is a very high I. C. S. officer, he assumes the role of a practising lawyer, which unfortunately he is not, and thereby he assumes things not permitted by law.' The reply further goes on to say that 'Mr Kapur came in first in the role of a counsel and submitted the so-called memo of appearance on 22-4-1965, couched in language unworthy of an officer and which itself was a contempt of Court. When he could not be permitted to appear like that he brought in the power of attorney signed bv his wife
* * * * ** The result of Mr. Kapur's entry on the scene has only been the innate prolongation of the proceedings resulting only from the fact that he could not fudge the relevancy or Irrelevancy of his Questions '
After referring to the filing of the documents now under consideration the reply goes on, at another place, to say-
'Mr. Kapur had done this only to overawe the Sub-Judge and the counsel and the witnesses which he had previously done by making an application under Section 476, Criminal Procedure Code on 25-4-1962 alleging fabrication of documents, the genuineness of which he himself proved bv producing confirmatory document from hid own possession and putting the same to Shri Kartar Singh witness in his cross-examination'
and at a later stage in the reply this is what was said-
'Mr Kapur was repeating various questions, to which answers had already been given and the clarification of which was on the record. As he was not a practising lawyer. Mr. Kapur could not realise that thereis a certain procedure only in examination and cross-examination of witnesses.'
The only other matter that may be added to this is that the learned District Judge of Kamal, considering the transfer application, said in his order that-
'It seems that the relations between the plaintiff's attorney (respondent 1) and Shri Sher Singh defendant (deceased petitioner) in the case are strained and that had made the conduct of the case in the Court of the Sub-Judge difficult at times. The Sub-Judge now strongly feels unhappy about this and seems to think as his comments indicate, that the plaintiff's attorney was mainlv at fault in the matter '
When all these matters are taken into consideration together it becomes clear that the entry of respondent 1 on the scene on the side of the respondents' society, as an attorney for the society to conduct the case of the plaintiff, not only created a tense atmosphere in the trial but the learned trial Judge was left in no doubt that what respondent 1 wanted was the prosecution of the deceased petitioner with not so much interest in the suit itself. It also comes out from the comments of the trial Judge that he did not succumb to the overbearing attitude of respondent 1 during the trial of the suit. It was in that atmosphere that the anonymous letter with the application was produced in the trial Court These are the surrounding facts and circumstances in which those documents were produced, and If anything, they support the conclusion that the object in the production of those documents was to influence the Judge and to impede the course of justice and it was calculated to embarrass the Judge. The fact that the Judge did not succumb to this attempt is. as I have already said, entirely besides the point. From the day those documents were produced by respondent 1 to the last day of his arguments in these proceedings there has been one theme which has run presistently and constantly and that is the position taken by respondent 1 that his main and dominant object in the production of the anonymous letter in the Court of the trial Judge was to have an inquiry and not to interfere with the due course of Justice. In paragraph 10 of his application of December 10. 1965, he refers to his having had enough of Court proceedings in earlier cases in which he has been involved. With his experience he could not thus reach a conclusion that a trial Judge, as the First Class Subordinate Judge at Karnal, could order an inquiry into the allegations in regard to the conduct of a Judge of this Court He says in his application for the return of those documents, which he made on June 12, 1965, that he was conscious of his right to approach the Vigilance Commission direct, but he should know very well that the Vigilance Commission can have no possible jurisdiction in so far as a Judge of this Court is concerned, for tn his various petitions he has repeatedly re-ferred to the provisions of the Constitution on the question of action that can be taken against a Judge on account of misbehaviour, and in fact in his application of October 18, 1966 he even refers to Article 124 of the Constitution in this respect. The Vigilance Commissioner would have no jurisdiction to enter upon any such inquiry--At the hearing in these proceedings respondent I said that the Subordinate Judge could well have forwarded the matter of inquiry to the registrar of this Court, who, being himself named in the anonymous letter, would have put up the matter before either the Administration Juddge or the Chief Justice but he seems to forget that no Judge of this Court, including the Chief Justice, can enter upon any inquiry in so far as a Judge of this Court is concerned The reference to the provisions of the Constitution in his various petitions leaves no manner of doubt that respondent 1 could not have been unaware of this position & he has not been. In the circumstances Inference is irresistible that he produced those documents deliberately in the trial Court not with the object of having any inquiry but with the object of influencing the trial Judge in the course of the trial of the cause. Respondent 1 has kept this smoke screen of an inquiry as a shield before him throughout and he feels that with that shield in front of him he can commit contempt of Court with impunity in the manner of producing a document of the type as the anonymous letter, Annexure 'C', in this case with the accompanying application, Annexure 'B', during the trial of the suit in which he was an attorney for the plaintiff-society of which the obvious and the patent tendency is what has already been described in detail above. Having produced the anonymous letter, Annexure 'C' in the Court, in the prayer paragraph of his application, Annexure 'B'. respondent 1 said that 'in the interest of purity of administration and especially the judicial system,the Vigilance Department or a suitable high-powered agency may be asked to inquire into the matter.' The trial Judge could not inquire into a matter in which a Judge of this Court had been brought in, nor could he order an inquiry by any other agency This is apart from this that the prayer has been worded in a yauge and a general way and not in a specific manner Why this was done has to be considered in the circumstances in which the documents were produced. If in fact the object was an inquiry into the contents of the anonymous letter, respondent 1 having received that letter on May 18 would not have waited for its production till June 2, 1965, when according to the deceased petitioner, in between, there were two hearings of the suit. It has not been explained why the production was delayed in this manner, except on this clear Inference that respondent I produced it when he thought the atmosphere in the Court would be more suitable to his approach in the matter, When the trial Judge made anorder on June 4, 1965, saying that he had not been approached, respondent I applied for the return of the document and while respondent I says it was the Subordinate Judge who delayed the return of the document, it is clear from the comments of the Subordinate Judge on the transfer application that he was not to blame for that. But what is more significant is that in the transfer application respondent 1, for respondent 2, has said that he was surprised by the trial Judge refusing to hold an inquiry. This is an extraordinary statement because once the Judge had categorically said that he had not been approached, there was nothing more to be done in the matter so far as he was concerned.
Respondent 1 has tried to emphasise the last part of the order of the trial Judge that the latter said that respondent 1 can have further inquiry from the proper authority if he was not satisfied, but nothing turns on this because even if no such thing was stated by the trial Judge, nothing stopped respondent 1 to proceed in his own way. After that respondent 1 made every effort to get the document back and in fact in the transfer application insinuated collusion by the trial Judge with the deceased petitioner in delaying the return of the document to enable the petitioner to file the contempt petition, and this is clear indication that respondent 1 realised the importance of the document & not only that, also importance of getting the document back. And that was why that the deceased petitioner's counsel was making frantic efforts to stop the return of the document because he thought that the same might never see the light of the day. If the main object of respondent 1 was an inquiry into the contents of the anonymous letter, what stopped him to approach the proper authority under the Constitution for an inquiry? At the hearing the respondent said that he had not the original with him, but surely he cannot sav so with his experience for he could have made the application with a copy and a note on the application that the original was in a Court of law.
In Paragraph 9 of the transfer application the reference was to a probe into the alleged conduct of the defendant; that is to say, the deceased petitioner. In the prayer clause of their parawise reply of January 4, 19R6. the respondents said that the conduct of two Judges was involved. Respondent 1 in Para 9 of his reply of October 24. 1966, again referred to this matter of inquiry & said that the conduct of two Judges was involved and an inquiry by a larger Bench was called for, and not only this in Paragraph 10 he said that 'two learned Judges (Harbans Singh and Narula JJ.) committed contempt of Court' In paragraph 13 of his application of November 21, 1966, under Section 561-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Criminal Miscellaneous No. 1207 of 1966) respondent 1 said that this Court.
'be pleased to hold an inquiry into the material on the record pertaining to Narula J. and Harbans Singh J. as without such inquiry it cannot be ascertained whether there was fair criticism or fair belief permitted by the law of the contempt of Court.'
However, in his final reply of February 13, 1967, in Paragraph 3 (c) with regard to merits he said that
'It is further submitted that an inquiry in its scope was not calculated to be against a Judge but could equally be against the actions of Sher Singh the defendant in the suit or even the petitioner therein'.
These are the various stands that respondent 1 has been taking in regard to the nature and scope of the inquiry upon which he has been basing his defence throughout, obviously in anticipation of proceedings of the type as these. During the arguments in these proceedings respondent 1 said that ha wanted investigation into the conduct of the deceased petitioner but not only that he also wanted an inquiry into the ramification of the anonymous letter and into the conduct of the deceased petitioner, the Judge named, the Registrar, respondent 1 himself and the author of the letter.
Apparently it seems that respondent 1 is not quite clear what he wants. He wants to have some kind of a rambling inquiry into the anonymous letter, Annexure 'C'. but, as has been shown, at least the circumstances make it clear that as a Judge of this Court was involved, respondent 1 cannot be heard to say that he did not know that the trial Judge could do nothing in the matter except to make his own position clear which he in fact did. It is evident that the main and the dominant purpose of the production of this document in the trial Court on June 2, 1965, was not any kind of inquiry but to influence and embarrass the Judge in the trial of the cause and to affect and deflect his mind from due performance of his duties, and to interfere with due couse of Justice. The fact of the respondent was calculated to have those effects
32. In this respect respondent 1 has stressed that he is entitled to an opportunity to produce evidence obviously in iustification of his conduct in the production of the document in the trial Court. In para 9 of his Criminal Miscellaneous Petition No. 1059 of 1966. made under Section 561-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure on October 18, 1966, respondent 1 said that he had a right to adduce evidence and to file an affidavit and that he would like to cross-examine the deceased petitioner with respect to the veracity of his knowledge as claimed in the affidavit in support of the contempt petition: a claim for evidence to that stage was limited in this manner. During the hearing of the arguments respondent 1 made an application for summoning of eight witnessess two of whom are Judges of this Court the third and the fourth are respectively the trialJudge and the Deputy Advocate-General, the fifth was a counsel for the deceased petitioner in the trial Court, and the remaining three were witnesses or were intended to be witnesses at the trial. It has not been explained in what manner any one of those persons could throw any light in regard to the conduct and the object of respondent 1 in producing the anonymous letter with the accompanying application in the trial Court on June 2, 1965. On the last day of the hearing, on February 17, 1967, respondent 1 made an application which has already been reproduced above in full. The substance of the application has been that the respondent wanted to lead evidence to show whether 01 not the production of the anonymous letter, Annexure 'C'. with the application, An-nexure 'B', was calculated or likely to impair confidence in the trial Court. He said in the application that he wanted to examine responsible public men to prove whether those documents were calculated to interfere with the course of justice in a substantial manner.
During the arguments he said he wanted to examine some Advocates of Karnal that the production of those documents had not the tendency or was not calculated to interfere with the course of justice in embarrassing the trial Judge in the trial of the cause between the respondents' society and the deceased petitioner or influencing him in that or impeding the course of justice. This obviously is again misconceived because it is for the Court to decide whether documents produced in the trial Court are of that nature and character and it is not the opinion of those outside the Court in a case like this that has anv meaning. Respondent 1 also said that that application was merely a start and that he wanted to make a further application gives further names of respectables and Advocates of Karnal to prove what has been stated above. That evidence apparently would be irrelevant in these proceedings.
He also said during the arguments that the Court was bound to examine witnesses, whether necessary or not, and it had no power to stop the production of such witnesses. Then he reiterated that thp defence could neither be shut out nor anticipated and that a Court cannot ask a person what is going to be his defence and what he wishes to establish in defence. None of these propositions can obviously be accepted Of course where a contemnet wishes to defend himself he is to be given every opportunity having regard to the nature of summary proceedings in the trial of contempt matters, but the type of evidence which respondent 1 said he wanted to produce was quite irrelevant and besides the point. In this respect one of his arguments has been that why it was necessarv to produce respectables and Advocates of Karnal to prove the tendency or likelihood of interference in the course of justice by the production of anony-mous letter in the trial Court was that an objective conclusion could be arrived at in this respect and that the Court could not reach a subjective conclusion on this. When a Court in proceedings like these considers a matter of this type having regard to tht contents of the document, like the one in question, produced in a Court during tht pendency of a trial, it is utterly wrong to say that the Court reaches a conclusion subjectively and that it can only reach a conclusion objectively by the opinion of some outsiders. What the Court does in reaching its conclusion is to consider the document objectively and its likely effect or its tendency to affect the course of justice and the mind of the trial Judge before whom it if produced.
33. Another argument of respondent 1 has been that the production of the letter, Annexure 'C', with the application, Annexure 'B' was insult to the trial Judge, and, having said this, he then immediately said that he was not prepared to say so, but the other side, although they did not say that, really meant that. It has been nobody's case that the production of the letter in the trial Court was an insult to the trial Judge and hence the act of respondent 1 comes under Section 228 of the Penal Code. It was more than an insult as has already been shown above. Respondent 1 has further pressed that in a case of this type defamation as such, as defined in Section 499 of the Penal Code, has to be established first, with an opportunity to take all defences available in defending that offence, and even after that it is to be seen whether what is alleged is also contempt or not. A complete answer to this whole argument is provided by this observation of their Lordships in Bathina Ramakrishna Reddy's case. 1952-3 SCR 428= (AIR 1952 SC 149).
'What is said is, that if a libel is published against a judge in respect of his judicial functions, that also is defamation within the meaning of Section 499 of the India Penal Code and as such libel constitute a contempt of court, it may be said with perfect propriety that libel on a iudge is punishable as contempt under the Indian Penal Code. We do not think that this contention can be accepted as sound. A libellous reflection upon the conduct of a judge in respect of his Judicial duties may certainly come under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code and it may be open to the judge to take steps against the libeller in the ordinary way for vindication of his character and personal dignity as a iudge; but such libel may or may not amount to contempt of court. As the Privy Council observed in Surendra Nath v Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court, at Fort William in Bengal (1884) ILR 10 Cal 109 at p. 131 (PC). 'although contempt may include defamation yet an offence of contempt is something more than mere defamation and it of a different character. When theact of defaming a judge is calculated to obtruct or interfere with the due course of justice or proper administration of law, it would certainly amount to contempt. The offence of contempt is really a wrong done to the public by weakening the authority and influence of courts of law which exist for their good. As was said by Willmot. C. J.
'attacks upon the judges excite in the minds of the people a general dissatisfication with all judicial determinations ...............nd whenever man's allegiance to the laws is so fundamentally shaken it is the most fatal and dangerous obstruction of iustice and in my opinion calls out for a more rapidand immediate redress than any other obstruction whatsoever; not for the sake of the judges as private individuals but because they are the channels by which the King's Iustice is conveyed to the people.' What is made punishable in the Indian Penal Code is the offence of defamation as defamation and not as contempt of court. If the defamation of a subordinate courtamounts to contempt of court, proceedings can certainly be taken under Section 2 of the Contempt of Courts Act quite apart from the fact that other remedy may be open to the aggrieved officer under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code.'
34. There remains one other argument of respondent 1 to notice in this respect so far as this count is concerned, though fame argument has been also advanced in relation to count 4. It is an attempt at plea of justification, although in Brahma Prakash Sharma's case, AIR 1954 SC 10 Paragraph 19 of the judgment, their Lordships observed that-
'It may be that pleas of justification or privilege are not strictly speaking available to the defendant in contempt proceedings.'
In spite of this it has been argued by respondent 1 that intention is material in such cases, Homi Rustomji Pardivala v. Sub-Inspector Baig, AIR 1944 Lah 196; the contemner should have acted with untruth or malice, AIR 1936 PC 141. Bathina Ramakrishna Reddy v. State of Madras (1952) SCR 425 = (AIR 1952 SC 149) and Reva-shankar's case. (1959) SCR 1367 = (AIR 1959 SC 102), or with improper motive (Barhma Prakash Sharma's case), AIR 1954 SC 10, or in absence of bona fides (again Brahma Prakash Sharma's case). AIR 1954 SC 10 or without prejudice Rizwan-Ul-Hasan v. State of Uttar Pradesh. AIR 1953 SC 185, or without reasonable care and caution (Bathina Ramakrishna Reddy's case). 1952-3 SCR 425 = (AIR 1952 SC 149), or in an unwarranted manner (Brahma Prakash Sharma's case. AIR 1954 SC 10 and Reva-shankar's case, 1959 SCR 1367 = (AIR 1959 SC 102), or without a prima facie ground (again Revashankar's case) 1959 SCR 1367 = (AIR 1957 SC 102). Respondent 1 has further urged that what he has done has beenin public good and thus cannot be contempt according to Brahma Prakash Sharma's case, AIR 1954 SC 10. It has already been shown that it is not correct that the main and the dominant purpose of respondent 1 in producing the document in the trial Court was a demand for a genuine inquiry, but the purpose was to embarrass the trial Judge, to impede & interrrupt the course of Iustice. &i; to affect the mind of the trial Judge and to deflect him from the right course in the administration of justice in the trial of the cause between the respondents' society and the deceased petitioner. In the circumstances how can respondent 1 urge that he had intention other than what is apparent from the circumstances of the case, or how was Ms conduct warranted, or done with reasonable care and caution, or in public interest. Although the facts of all the cases cited above are entirely different from those of the present case and the observations of Their Lordships have to be understood having regard to the facts of each case, but even so none of these factors is, in the circumstances of this case, In favour of respondent 1 or supports his cause in any way. He has contended that he is entitled to lead evidence to prove all these matters to justify his conduct and in this respect relies upon some reported cases. The first case is Debi Prasad Sharma v. Emporor, AIR 1943 PC 202, in which certain statement made by a District Judge about a circular issued by the Chief Justice of Allahabad led to contempt proceedings, and evidence was adduced to prove whether or not the District Judge made the statement. The second such case was of Homi Rustomji Pardivala, AIR 1944 Lah 196 in which the evidence was directed to whether the petition given by the petitioner in that case had or had not been received by a certain date, because it was said that by the time it was received the petitioner had already been released or was immediately due to be released. In Bathina Ramakrishna Reddy's case, 1952-3 SCR 425 = (AIR 1952 SC 149) the contemner was found not to have been able to substantiate allegations against a magistrate based on hearsay. In in re. Hira Lal Dixit. (1955) 1 SCR 677= (AIR 1954 SC 743) the only question of evidence that arose was whether or not a pamphlet had been published and circulated in the premises of the Supreme Court. And lastly in Revashankar's case. 1959 SCR 1367 = (AIR 1959 SC 102) their Lordships observing that prima facie what was stated in the transfer application amounted to contempt, did not say anything in regard to the truth or otherwise of the allegations and sent the case back to the High Court for decision on merits in accordance with law. In not one of these cases was evidence allowed to be Introduced in justification on the matters listed above on which respondent 1 has said that evidence should have been allowed. It has already been shown that the list of witnesses filed by him and the subsequent ap-plication saying what he wanted to establish, referred to none of these matters.
35. So in so far as count 1 is concerned, there is no manner of doubt that the anonymous letter, Annexure 'C' with the application, Annexure 'B', was calculated to embarrass the judge and influence him in the trial of the suit between the respondents society and the deceased petitioner. It was likely to impede the due course of iustice and affect the mind of the trial Judge as also to deflect him from pursuit of his duty as a Judicial officer So on this count respondent 1 committed contempt of Court of the Court of Mr Rule P. Gaind. Subordinate Judge 1st Class at Karnal.
36. As to count 4, respondent 1 produced Annexure VII copy of another anonymous letter with the respondents' rejoinder of December 6, 1965. In this the clear statement is that 'I have already informed you that pressure is being put through the High Court', and then the name of a third Judge is brought in as has already been stated above. This is a statement alleging interference by the High Court with the administration of iustice in a subordinate court and this is patently calculated to impair the administration of Iustice by creating an impression that the High Court whose duty it is to uphold and administer justice is itself interfering with the due course of iustice. It is likelv immediately to bring this Court and the administration of iustice into disrepute. The attack is on the Court as a whole and it is calculated to undermine the confidence of the public in the integrity of this Court. It scandalises it in such a way as to create distrust in regard to its Integrity and capacity not only to administer justice in a fair and impartial way but imputes to it interference with the impartial administration of iustice in the courts below. That this amounts to contempt of Court admits of not the least possible doubt. In Rex v. Editor of the New Statesman. (1928) 44 TLR 301, at p. 302. Lord Hewart, C. J. referred to this observation of Lord Russell in Reg v Gray, (1900) 2 QB 36-
'Any act done or writing published calculated to bring a Court or a Judge of the Court into contempt, or to lower his authority, is a contempt of Court'
In AIR 1936 PC 141, a case approved by their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Brahma Prakash Sharma's case, AIR 1954 SC 10 the Privy Council held that an attempt to impair the adiministration of iustice was contempt of Court; in Brahma Prakash Sharma's case, AIR 1954 SC 10 their Lordships observed that scandalising the Court might manifest itself in various ways but in substance, it is an attack on the Court as a whole with or without reference to particular cases casting unwarranted and defamatory aspersions upon the character and ability of the Judges; in 1955-1 SCR 677 = (AIR 1954 SC 743), their Lordships held that what wascalculated to undermine the confidence of the people in the integrity of the Judges was contempt of Court; and in Revashankar's case. 1959 SCR 1367 = (AIR 1959 SC 102) it was observed that aspersions which scandalise the Court in such a way as to create distrust in the popular mind and impair the confidence of the people in the Court is contempt of Court. The contents of Annexure VII answer the description of the contempt of Court as in each one of the above cases. It has already been stated that respondent 1 cannot shield himself behind this that it is an anonymous letter for which he is not responsible, because not knowing who had sent the letter to him he should never have produced that in Court. What respondent 1 has said is that he has produced not only this anonymous letter but also the first one in Court and not in the bazar and with the dominant purpose of asking for an enquiry. But even the production of a letter like this in Court is calculated to create distrust in the public so far as this! Court is concerned and to shake their confidence in its integrity, which brings it into disrepute and lowers its authority in the estimation of the public who have resort for iustice to it.
37. The contentions of respondent 1 on other matters raised have been fully considered under count 1 and the position under this count is the same on those aspects of his arguments.
38. So respondent 1 has committed contempt of Court of this Court under count 4.
39. In consequence, the two respondents are discharged in these proceedings so far as counts 2 and 3 are concerned, and respondent 2 is also discharged so far as counts 1 and 4 are concerned. But respondent 1 is held guilty of contempt of Court of the Court of Mr. Rule P. Gaind, Subordinate Judge 1st Class at Karnal, on count 1, and of this Court on count 4.
40. No apology has been tendered by respondent 1 for his conduct, rather he has persistently held on to what he has done. Consequently, in the matter of sentence, under count 1, for contempt of Court of the Court of Mr. R. P. Gaind, Subordinate Judge 1st Class at Karnal, respondent 1 Is ordered to pay a fine of Rs. 150 or in default to undergo simple imprisonment for ten days, and on count 4, for contempt of Court of this Court, he is ordered to pay a fine of Rs. 200, or in default to undergo simple imprisonment for fifteen days, but he is given thirty days from today within which to make payment of the two amounts of fine.
A.N. Grover, J.
41. I agree.
Prem Chand Pandit, J.
42. I also agree.