(1) Corporation gave notice to demolish unauthorised construction: the petitioner filed a suit for permanent injunction which was dismissed for want of jurisdiction but the trial court gave a direction to the respondents not to take demolition action unless fresh notice is served. This direction was not obeyed.
(2) Held that :- The importance of committal for Civil Contempt lies in to assist in the enforcement of court directions and decisions. It is the last resort against recalcitrance and refusal of compliance. It is intended to assist a victim to enforce his remedy. Otherwise, justice would be undone if any court is disobeyed without fear of any punitive consequences. It is necessary wherewithal of administration of justice.
(3) Held further that the remedy against the demolition direction was not a suit for injunction. Such a suit was expressly barred by sub-section (4) of Section 343 of the Act. The correct course to pursue was an appeal to the court of the District Judge of Delhi under sub-section (2) of the said section. It was that court alone which could stay the enforcement of that order. The court dismissed the suit though for a different reason. But having once found itself lacking in jurisdiction, it was only fit for it to refrain from giving any direction. Where a court dismisses a suit for want of jurisdiction, it may give no direction except as regard things such as cost, for which the Code of Civil Procedure makes express provision in Section 35(l)(l). Yet the learned Sub- Judge did so.
(4) Also held that it is plain and unqualified obligation of every person against, or in respect of, whom an order is made by a Court of competent jurisdiction to obey it unless and until that order is discharged, even in cases where the person affected by an order believes it to be irregular or void. . 1952 A.C. 285. After noticing the observations of a judgment of the Lahore High Court in the case reported as Sultan Ali Nanghiana Nur Hussain, 1949 Lahore 31, it was held that where a right is created by a statute which also prescribes the manner in which that right may be enforced, the party complaining of any infringement of such right can only seek such remedy as is provided by that statute. If the order by which the respondents were required to stay the proceedings before them was without jurisdiction, they would commit no contempt for having disregarded it because the order being a nullity, they were not bound by it. An order without jurisdiction is void and a void order binds no body.
(5) Where there is an irregularity of substance, or a lack of jurisdiction to make the order, then there is no duty that the order be first obeyed before it is quashed by the same or a superior court. thereforee, the court would forget its duty, if it did not give the respondents the benefit of the fact that the order ought not to have been made Dowry v. Thacker, 3, Swans 529 at 546.
(6) It was further held that Section 343 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act while preventing interference by Civil Court, has provided a detailed procedure for demolition of an unauthorised construction: (1) a show cause notice, (2) direction to the person concerned to himself demolish the construction within a specified time; (3) it he feels aggrieved by such direction, to appeal to the District Judge ; and (4) if no such appeal is filed, or if one is filed no injunction is issued or is eventually dismissed, the Commissioner may take steps to demolish the construction. The petitioners did not file an appeal; and the learned Sub-Judge lacked inherent jurisdiction. That being so, his order was void and not binding on the Commissioner. The notice was, thereforee, discharged.