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Satyanarayan and ors. Vs. Ram Niwas - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Appeal No. 14 of 1983
Judge
Reported inAIR1984Raj105; 1983()WLN254
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Order 39, Rule 2A
AppellantSatyanarayan and ors.
RespondentRam Niwas
Appellant Advocate M.M. Singhvi, Adv.
Respondent Advocate S.N. Deedwania, Adv.
DispositionAppeal partly allowed
Cases Referred and Mohd. Osman Shaheed v. Mohd. Baqur Hussain Shaa.
Excerpt:
.....he accented with stern warning for future conduct.;although the appellants employed the temporary injunction order passed by the trial court with impunity and had committed gross contempt, yet the unqualified apology was tendered in this court on the very first opportunity. further the applicants have again tendered an unqualified apoiogy in writing on february 3, 1983, i am satisfied in the circumstances of this case that the appellats are really penitent for the indefencible conduct in which they wrongfully indulged by disobeying the injuction order passed by trial court. in these circumstances, i accept the unqualified apology tendered by the applicants but would administer a strong and stern warning to them that they should be careful in their future conduct.;appeal partly allowed -..........prasad, j.1. this is an appeal against the order passed under order 39, rule 2-a c.p.c. by the learned district judge. merta dated jan. 15. 1983. the learned district judge found as a fact that the appellants had disobeyed the order of temporary injunction passed by that court and they unlawfully took possession of the shop in dispute, in derogation of the order of temporary in-'junction. he, therefore, directed that each one of the appellants be detained in civil prison for a period of 7 days.2. in a suit for specific performance of an agreement to sell and for a declaration that the sale deed dated july 24. 1978 executed by the appellant sat-yanarayan in favour of the wives of appellants nos. 2 to 4 was ineffective against the plaintiff and for cancellation of the aforesaid sale.....
Judgment:

Dwarka Prasad, J.

1. This is an appeal against the order passed under Order 39, Rule 2-A C.P.C. by the learned District Judge. Merta dated Jan. 15. 1983. The learned District Judge found as a fact that the appellants had disobeyed the order of temporary injunction passed by that court and they unlawfully took possession of the shop in dispute, in derogation of the order of temporary in-'junction. He, therefore, directed that each one of the appellants be detained in civil prison for a period of 7 days.

2. In a suit for specific performance of an agreement to sell and for a declaration that the sale deed dated July 24. 1978 executed by the appellant Sat-yanarayan in favour of the wives of appellants Nos. 2 to 4 was ineffective against the plaintiff and for cancellation of the aforesaid sale deed a temporary injunction was passed by the learned District Judge. Merta on March 3. 1982 restraining the defendants in that suit from dispossessing the plaintiff from the shop in dispute and from damaging the said shop in any manner. The learned District Judge also directed the defendants to maintain status quo. After a few days, the plaintiff-respondent filed an application under Order 39. Rule 2-A C.P.C. alleging that the appellants had broken open the lock of the shop and that they had removed the Roods and had made structural alterations inside the shop by removing the intervening wall. Another application was moved on Dec. 3. 1982 by the plaintiff-respondent praying that the condition of the shop as it existed on Mar. 3. 1982 should be restored and the appellants should be directed to make payment of compensation for the loss caused to him on account of alterations made therein and that the appellants should also be punished for the disobedience of the injunction order passed by the Court on March 3. 1962. The learned District Judge by his order dated January 15. 1983 came to the conclusion that the appellants had wilfully disobeyed the temporary injunction order passed by the trial court on March 3. 1982 and had unlawfully taken over possession of the shop in dispute and had made alterations therein. The trial court consequently directed the appellants to restore possession of the shop in dispute to the respondent, after putting the said shop in the same condition in which it was on March 3. 1982. It was also directed that a Commissioner be appointed to assess the damage caused to the plaintiff-respondent on account of demolition of structures and alterations made in the shop. The learned District Judge also directed that each one of the appellants be detained in civil prison for a period of 7 days, on account of the disobedience or breach of the injunction order committed by them.

3. In this appeal, learned counsel for the appellants did not advance any arguments on merits. He did not contest the finding arrived at by the learned District Judge on the question that the appellants had forcibly taken over possession of the shop in dispute and had unlawfully demolished the structures and thereby wilfully disobeyed the temporary injunction order passed by the trial court on March 3. 1982. The only submission made by the learned counsel for the appellants before me was that the appellants crave the mercy of the court and that they tender unqualified apology for their conduct find pray that the court may graciously accept their apology. Learned counsel for the respondent strenuously contended before me that the conduct of the appellants shows that they have no regard to the dignity of the court as they took the law in their own hands and unlawfully took over possession of the shop in dispute and demolished the intervening wall and wilfully disobeyed the injunction order issued by the trial court, regardless of the consequence and that the conduct of the appellant was reprehensible. Learned counsel for the plaintiff-respondent referred to the decision? of their Lordships of the Supreme Court in The Advocate General, State of Bihar v. Madhya Pradesh Khair Industries, AIR 1960 SC 946: Mulkh Raj v. The State of Punjab. AIR 1972 SC 1197. and Mohd. Osman Shaheed v. Mohd. Baqur Hussain Shaa. 1980 Cri LJ 845 and urged that this Court should reject the apology tendered by the appellants and the punishment of detention in civil prison imposed by the trial court should not be interfered with by this Court in the aforesaid circumstances.

4. As already observed above, when the appeal came up for hearing before this Court on the very first occasion, learned counsel for the appellants submitted that the appellants undertake to reconstruct the intervening wall and restore the shop in the same condition in which it stood on March 3. 1982 and to the satisfaction of the plaintiff-respondent and hand over possession of the shop in dispute to him. On Feb. 3. 1983, learned counsel for the appellants stated before this Court that the intervening wall had been constructed and he tendered the keys of the said shop, which were handed over to the learned counsel for the plaintiff respondent. Thereafter, learned counsel for the plaintiff-respondent reported that the shop has been restored to the original condition as it existed on March 3, 1982, but he stated that certain movable properties belonging to the plaintiff respondent, which had been unlawfully removed by the appellants, have not been restored to them. Today, learned counsel for the plaintiff-respondent stated before this Court that the appellants have reasonably compensated the plaintiff respondent in respect of the movable proper-lies, which were kept in the shop when the appellants took unlawful possession thereof and which were not found when the possession of the said shop was restored to the plaintiff-respondent under the order of this Court.

5. Thus, a substantial part of the order passed by the learned District Judge. Merta relating to restoration of the shop to its original condition and to the redelivery of possession of the said shop to the plaintiff-respondent and also relating to compensating the plaintiff-respondent for the loss or damage caused to his movable properties, has been complied with by the 'appellants. There is no necessity now of appointing a Commissioner to assess the loss or damages caused to the plaintiff-respondent, as his learned counsel has stated today that the appellants have - reasonably compensated the plaintiff-respondent for the loss caused to him and he has no further grudge on that score. Now, the only question which remains for consideration is whether this Court should accept the unconditional apology tendered by the appellants in respect of their conduct of wilfully disobeying the orders of temporary injunction passed by the Trial Court on March. 3. 1982. There cannot be any doubt that the conduct of the appellants, in breaking open the lock of the shop in dispute and taking over possession of the said shop in utter contravention of the injunction order passed by the trial court, was wholly unjustified and deserves to be condemned. The conduct of the appellants is no doubt reprehensible. The gravity of the offence committed by the appellants in unlawfully entering into the shop by breaking open the lock and committing a breach of the injunction order cannot be lost sight of. There is no doubt that justice in court is not a marketable commodity and a party to an action cannot be allowed to deliberately disobey the order of the court with impunity and carry an erroneous impression that it would amply compensate the aggrieved party by payment of handsome amount and thereby get itself relieved of wilful disobedience of the court's order. The action on the Part of the contemner. which is capable of purging the contempt, is a clear unqualified apology tendered at the earliest opportunity. The court must be satisfied that the contemner was really showing contrition for his conduct and the penitence must be apparent and real. Otherwise, mere tendering an apology in order to escape from punishment being imposed by the Court is a mere contrivance and cannot be justifiably accepted by the Court.

6. In the present case, although the appellants disobeyed the temporary injunction order passed by the trial Court with impunity and had committed gross contempt, yet the unqualified apology was tendered in this Court on the very first oportunity. Further the appellants have again tendered an unqualified apology in writing on February 3. 1983. I am satisfied in the circumstance of this case that the appellants are really penitent for the indefencible conduct in which they wrongfully indulged by disobeying the injunction order passed by the trial court. In these circumstances, I accept the unqualified apology tender- ed by the appellants but would administer a strong and stern warning to them that they should be careful in their future conduct and that they must show on all occasion unqualified regard and respect for the dignity of the courts of law and the orders passed by them and willingly and fully comply with such orders.

7. In the result, the appeal is partly allowed. The order passed by the learned District Judge. Merta is confirmed so far as all other directions are given therein except those relating to appointment of Commissioner and of detaining the appellants in civil prison. In that respect the order passed by the learned District Judge dated Jan 15, 1983 is modified and the appellants are let off with a warning in place of sending them to civil prison. The parties shall bear their own costs of this appeal.


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