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Uma Dutt Vs. R.K. Sardana - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectContempt of Court
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. No. 1679 of 1968 in Ex. S.A. No. 235 of 1965
Judge
Reported inAIR1969Delhi6; 4(1968)DLT475
ActsContempt of Court Act, 1952 - Sections 3; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Sections 151; Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 193; Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) - Sections 476
AppellantUma Dutt
RespondentR.K. Sardana
Excerpt:
.....in his application-an application was made by the respondent requesting the initiation of the contempt proceedings against the appellant-the court rejected the application on the ground that the respondent while filing the application was inspired by the desire to settle his scores with the appellant - section 13: [altamas kabir & cyriac joseph,jj] custody of child - welfare of child vis--vis comity of courts - the minor girl child of 3 1/2 years was brought to india by her mother. the minor girl was a citizen of u.k. being born in u.k. her parents had set up their matrimonial home in u.k. and had acquired status of permanent residents of u.k. the child with her mother was supposed to return to u.k. but the mother cancelled her tickets and remained behind in india. the husband..........aggrieved, seems to be inspired by a desire to settle his own scores with his opponent through contempt proceedings. it is undoubtedly true that in courts in this country, litigants seldom show that respect for truth which they are expected to, and which they may be inclined, as a rule, to show outside the courts. in fact, their general attitude is that everything, however foul, is fair in litigation. it is a matter of disappointment to this court that this should be so. this observation, however, goes for most of the litigating parties and merely because one of them chooses to approach this court with a prayer to proceed against its opponent for the latter's indiscretion in making statements which may be wrong and misleading, this court is nto bound, without something much more, to.....
Judgment:

1. In this application, the respondent has prayed that the judgment-debtor-appellant Uma Datt be called upon to show cause why he should nto be prosecuted in trying to mislead this Court by concealment or material facts in his application Civil Miscellaneous No. 195 of 1967, dated 11-1-1967. The application is ingenious and indeed it obviously has been inspired by a desire to put pressure on the opposite party. In the heading of the application, it is stated to have been filed under S. 151, Civil P. C., and under Sections 193, I.P.C. and 476. Cr.P.C., but it is obvious that the application (Civil Misc. No. 195 of 1967) was neither verified by Uma Datt nor is there any affidavit which has been suggested to be the basis for the prosecution for which the respondent wants to canvass. During the course of arguments, however, the learned counsel for the respondent has only tried to make out a case for initiating proceedings for contempt of Court.

2. Contempt of Court, it must never be forgotten, is a summary and a drastic process which this Court is very slow to re sort to, except in cases of gross affront to the dignity of the Court or in cases where the judicial process has been sought intentionally to he seriously interfered with illegally. It is resorted to only in the interest of the sanctity of the judicial process and the dignity and majesty of the Court of justice and nto merely because a private party to a litigation, feeling aggrieved, seems to be inspired by a desire to settle his own scores with his opponent through contempt proceedings. It is undoubtedly true that in Courts in this country, litigants seldom show that respect for truth which they are expected to, and which they may be inclined, as a rule, to show outside the Courts. In fact, their general attitude is that everything, however foul, is fair in litigation. It is a matter of disappointment to this Court that this should be so. This observation, however, goes for most of the litigating parties and merely because one of them chooses to approach this Court with a prayer to proceed against its opponent for the latter's indiscretion in making statements which may be wrong and misleading, this Court is nto bound, without something much more, to initiate proceedings by way of contempt of Court. This certainly does nto mean that this Court approves of such an attitude of mind on the part of the litigants. The wide sweep of the power of this Court in proceedings by way of con tempt, demands a proper self-imposed restraint consistent with its majesty and dignity because such generosity of attitude alone can advance the larger interests of justice. To permit this power to be invoked too frequently and too lightly merely because a litigating party is alleged and even proved to have made misleading or false assertions in an application, may nto further the end, the contempt proceedings are designed to serve and promote. Dignified restraint and magnanimous inattention to the usual shortcomings of an average litigant, who does nto possess a genuine high sense of regard for truth, and who takes misleading and untrue pleas in his answer to the opponents case, seems to me to truly befit the high position of power this Court holds. Too frequent action lightly taken for contempt of Court on the basis of every incorrect plea in the pleadings tends to defeat its own purpose. By and large, it is only when there appears a glaring case of deliberate and intentional interference with the purity and free flow of the stream of justice, by doing something prima facie indefensible and incapable of intelligible Explanationn, that this Court would be justified in considering the question of initiating contempt proceedings, and ordinarily this Court would be disinclined In allow its inherent power to punish for contempt of Court to be invoked at the instance of a party on the mere ground that his opponent has raised incorrect or even false pleas.

3. For the foregoing reasons, I reject this application, but in the peculiar circum stances, make no order as to costs.

HGP/D.V.C.

4. Application rejected.


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