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Delhi Development Authority Vs. Skipper Construction and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectContempt of Court
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberI.A. Nos. 15, 16, 29, 30, 32A, 32B, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, and 70 in S.L.P. (C) No. 21000/93
Judge
Reported in1999(3)SCALE11; (1999)6SCC18
AppellantDelhi Development Authority
RespondentSkipper Construction and anr.
Excerpt:
.....of maharashtra, [1970] 2 scr 227; minakshi v. subramanya, 14 ia 168; govinda kadtuji kadam v. state of maharashtra, [1970] 1 scc 469; referred to. maneka gandhi v. union of india, [1978] 2 scr 621; distinguished. - 10. the commissioner of police is once again directed to have the notice served on shri prabhjot singh and ensure his presence on 19th april, 1999. 11. another interesting aspect of this matter is that the office report shows that the commissioner of police has not been able to have the notice served even on harpreet kaur though she is present in court today and is represented by counsel......see that the notices were served on the abovesaid two persons. there was a further direction that shri prabhjot singh and harpreet kaur were to be present in this court today, the 5th of april, 1999 at 2 p.m. the commissioner of police was also directed to ensure the presence of the two persons today before this court.2. the office report dated 3rd april, 1999 shows that no compliance report has been received so far from the commissioner of police. however, the learned counsel appearing for smt. harpreet kaur submits that she is present in the court and on her behalf, time is requested for filing a reply to the show cause notice issued by this court. in the abovesaid order, we had also directed notice to be issued to m/s. shikha developers ltd., delhi. the office report shows that they.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. On 15th March, 1999, an order was passed by this Court in this I.A. stating that prima facie, there was violation of the orders of this Court by Shri Prabhjot Singh Sabbarwal and his wife Harpreet Kaur. We directed notice to be issued to the above said two persons and also directed the Commissioner of Police, New Delhi to see that the notices were served on the abovesaid two persons. There was a further direction that Shri Prabhjot Singh and Harpreet Kaur were to be present in this Court today, the 5th of April, 1999 at 2 P.M. The Commissioner of Police was also directed to ensure the presence of the two persons today before this Court.

2. The Office Report dated 3rd April, 1999 shows that no compliance report has been received so far from the Commissioner of Police. However, the learned Counsel appearing for Smt. Harpreet Kaur submits that she is present in the Court and on her behalf, time is requested for filing a reply to the show cause notice issued by this Court. In the abovesaid order, we had also directed notice to be issued to M/s. Shikha Developers Ltd., Delhi. The Office Report shows that they have been served and their learned Counsel seeks time to file counter affidavit.

3. We grant two weeks time for filing counters.

4. So far as Prabhjot Singh is concerned, he is not present in spite of the Court's order, (though it was represented by a person who was present in the Court that Shri Prabhjot Singh was waiting outside for some time). Be that as it may. He is not present inside the Courtroom. Dr. A.M. Singhvi, Senior Counsel who appeared on instructions from Shri Sohail Dutt, Advocate on behalf of Smt. Vijayalakshmi Menon, Advocate on Record stated that Shri K.J. Singh, uncle of Shri Prabhjot Singh (who is present in Court), had instructed him to inform the Court that Shri Prabhjot Singh would be able to present himself physically in this Court if this Court could give him protection against arrest pursuant to other arrest warrants issued against him by different courts or authorities. The learned Counsel also submitted that Shri Prabhjot Singh was willing to file an affidavit as directed by this Court by order dated 15th March, 1999. It was also contended that Shri Prabhjot Singh had not violated any orders of this Court and had not committed any contempt.

5. The question whether Shri Prabhjot Singh has committed any contempt of earlier order of this Court is a matter which can be decided after he files a counter affidavit. So far as the order of this Court dated 15th March, 1999 is concerned, we are of the opinion that when his presence was required today, the least he could have done was to file an affidavit in this Court seeking exemption from appearance before this Court. Instead, he has chosen to instruct his uncle Shri K.J. Singh, to inform his counsel and the Senior Counsel that he has some difficulty in appearing in this Court unless some sort of protection is granted to him.

6. One would have expected a person who has knowledge of orders of this Court to be present today at 2 P.M. or seek exemption from personal appearance. Neither has been done. After hearing the Senior Counsel Dr. A.M. Singhvi, we are prima facie, of the view that the absence of Shri Prabhjot Singh today despite the knowledge and that too, without filing any application for exemption, prima facie, amounts to an independent contempt by itself for which also he is required to give his explanation.

7. The Commissioner of Police should have informed this Court as to the reasons for which he was not able to have the notice, issued by this Court served on Shri Prabhjot Singh. It is rather unfortunate that not only no counsel appears on his behalf but not even information has been furnished to the Registry as to what action he has taken pursuant to the directions of this Court contained in our order dated 15th March, 1999 asking him to see that notice is served on Prabhjot Singh.

8. A notice will issue to the Commissioner of Police to explain why no report has been submitted to this Court. The Commissioner will also ascertain whether and if so, how many arrest warrants and from which courts, are pending against Shri Prabhjot Singh and also the reasons for the delay for non-execution of the said warrants.

9. In the affidavit proposed to be filed on behalf of Shri Prabhjot Singh, he should also furnish his address where he is residing and also a list of all the arrest warrants that have been issued against him. He must also be physically present on 19th April, 1999 in this Court.

10. The Commissioner of Police is once again directed to have the notice served on Shri Prabhjot Singh and ensure his presence on 19th April, 1999.

11. Another interesting aspect of this matter is that the Office Report shows that the Commissioner of Police has not been able to have the notice served even on Harpreet Kaur though she is present in Court today and is represented by counsel. In the circumstances, the Commissioner of Police will ascertain the facts relating to the non-service of the notice issued by this Court and will file an affidavit by the next date of hearing as to the circumstances in which the notice could not be served on Shri Prabhjot Singh or his wife and also the circumstances under which Shri Prabhjot singh could not be produced in Court today.

12. A copy of this order will be furnished to the Counsel for the Delhi Government for communication to the Commissioner of Police. List the matter on 19.4.1999.

I.As. 32A & 32B of 1996

13. These two I.A.s relate to Barakhamba Road property and concern Skipper Towards Ltd. and Skipper Sales Pvt. Ltd. It is the contention of the petitioners that monies collected from various intending purchasers of flats - which were to be constructed in Barakhamba property - were diverted and spent for construction at Jhandewalan property and elsewhere. The petitioners have : referred to the report of the Saharya Commission and also to certain findings given by the Department of Company Affairs.

14. The Directors of Skipper Construction Company namely Tejwant Singh and his wife Surinder Kaur are hereby suo-moto impleaded in both the matters. LA. Nos. 32A and 32B of 1996 as respondents because it is the case of the petitioners that they are directors of Skipper Construction Pvt. Ltd. Notice will also issue to other persons who figure as Directors of Skipper Construction Company (details to be given by Lt. Col. Jaswant Singh)*. If the names are given, they shall also stand impleaded in these two I.As. So far as Surinder Kaur is concerned, she is represented by her counsel Mr. Rajiv Garg for whom Mr. M.L. Verma, learned senior counsel has appeared and the counsel seeks time for filing counter affidavit.

15. Issue notice to the respondents who are impleaded in the petition originally and (Details given by Lt. Col. Jaswant Singh attached). to those who are impleaded today.

16. Impleaded parties (respondents) will appear personally or through their counsel on 03.05.99.

I.As. 29 & 30 (Jhandewalan property)

17. In the meantime, the Amicus-Curiae is requested to furnish a list of the different properties with regard to which there are claims pending which claims have not so far been disposed of and also details of the respective owners of the properties with a view to enable this Court to issue further directions with regard to those claims. List may be furnished by 3.5.1999.

18. Photo copies of the orders (details to be furnished by the advocate to the Registry) to be provided by the Registry to Mr. Rajiv Garg, Advocate on payment of charges.


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