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State of Rajasthan Vs. Shyam NaraIn Moriya - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1973CriLJ1340; 1972()WLN1048
AppellantState of Rajasthan
RespondentShyam NaraIn Moriya
Cases ReferredPerspective Publications (P) Ltd. v. State of Maharashtra
Excerpt:
.....by presiding officers--held, it is a case of contempt of court.;the publication of the impugned news-items creates and tends to create an apprehension in the minds of the people regarding the integrity, ability fairness of the presiding officer of the court and also to deter actual and prospective litigants from placing complete reliance upon the court's administration of justice apart from the fact that they are likely to cause embarrassment of the higher order in the minds of the persons concerned in the discharge of their judicial duties.;the impugned articles or news-items constitute a clear contempt of court. - section 2(k), 2(1), 7 & 40 & juvenile justice (care and protection of children) rules, 2007, rule 12 & 98 & juvenile justice act, 1986, section 2(h): [altamas kabir &..........tanieet singh and partap singh. on 1-5-72 the aforesaid accused moved for bail in the court of shri narhari sharma, munsif magistrate, first class, alwar but the bail applications on behalf of all the accused were rejected on 8-5-1972 a news-item was published by the non-petitioner shri shvam narain moriva in a weeklv newspaper 'vishav viiai' edited, printed and published by the non-petitioner. we do not consider it necessary to reproduce the impugned news item in extenso. but its substance is that positive proof has been received by the said editor, printer and publisher that shri narhari sharma. munsiff had taken bribes in lacs of rupees by abusing his official position as munsiff. it was also stated that at behror also shri narhari sharma had accepted thousands of rupees as bribe.....
Judgment:

C.M. Lodha, J.

1. These are four connected matters arising out of references made to this Court by the Subordinate Courts.

2. Case No- 562 of 1972 has been registered on reference by Shri Narhari Sharma, Munsiff Magistrate. First Class, Alwar through the District and Sessions Judge. Alwar. It is alleged that on 24-7-1972, case No. 26/72 was registered at Police Station, Ramgarh (Alwar) for offences under Sections 147. 148, 365, 440, 341 322 149 I. P. C against the accused Raehuveer Singh, Ambrik Singh, Jeet Sineh, Tanieet Singh and Partap Singh. On 1-5-72 the aforesaid accused moved for bail in the Court of Shri Narhari Sharma, Munsif Magistrate, First Class, Alwar but the bail applications on behalf of all the accused were rejected On 8-5-1972 a news-item was published by the non-petitioner Shri Shvam Narain Moriva in a Weeklv Newspaper 'Vishav Viiai' edited, printed and published by the non-petitioner. We do not consider it necessary to reproduce the impugned news item in extenso. But its substance is that positive proof has been received by the said editor, printer and publisher that Shri Narhari Sharma. Munsiff had taken bribes in lacs of Rupees by abusing his official position as Munsiff. It was also stated that at Behror also Shri Narhari Sharma had accepted thousands of Rupees as bribe from a number of parties to whom the monev had not been returned by Shri Narhari Sharma even though he had been transferred to Alwar and was not able to decide cases in favour of the parties from whom he had accepted illegal gratification.

3. The non-petitioner has not filed any reply to the notice issued to him. The State, has, however submitted affidavit of Shri Narhari Sharma and also a copy of the newspaper in which the impugned news-item was published. Shri Narhari Sharma has sworn, inter alia, that the non-petitioner was and is the editor printer and publisher of local Hindi Weeklv known as 'Vishav Vijai'.

4. Case No. 826 of 1972 has been registered on the application by the same Shri Narhari Sharma, Munsiff Magistrate, First Class, Alwar with respect to certain news-item published in the 'Vishav Vijai' dated 2nd August 1972. In this news-item also it is mentioned that Shri Narhari Sharma is a habitual drunkard and has lowered down the dignity and prestige of the court and is in- fact a stigma on the fair name of administration of justice as he is corrupt to the core. It has been further stated that the editor, printer and publisher namely the non-petitioner was declaring at the beat of the drum that Shri Narhari Sharma had taken illegal gratification in Alwar amounting to Rs. 10 to 15 lacs and was still indulging in this nefarious activity. Another news-item in the same paper goes on to state that Shri Narhari Sharma has deliberately issued warrant of arrest against the non-petitioner to wreak his private erudse and vengeance against the non-petitioner. Yet in another column it is stated that Shri Narhari Sharma sits in the court after having drunk to the drag and gives abuses like a rabid dog after occupying the chair of the Presiding Officer of the Court and further that when the non-petitioner was called to the court and the non-petitioner went into the Court, the said Shri Narhari Sharma retired into the chamber at 1-30 P. M. and tore out the order-sheets not less than four times.

5. Shri Sharma made another application dated 1-9-1972 to this Court with respect to certain news-item published in the same Weekly by the non-petitioner in the issue dated 23rd August, 1972. In this issue also most scurrilous and scandalous remarks were made against Shri Narhari Sharma of taking huge bribe from different parties amounting to Rs. 10 to 15 lacs. It has been stated that there are hundreds and hundreds of cases in which Shri Narhari Sharma has taken bribe and he is practically carrying on a loot. It has been alleged in this issue that Shri Narhari Sharma is in the habit of taking money from both the parties and thereafter decides the case in favour of the party which pays more and at the top of it all he does not even return the money to the party against whom he has given decision. Shri Narhari Sharma has also supported the application by his own affidavit,

6. Then, we come to the case No. 865 of 1972 in which action has been taken on a reference made to this Court by Shri P. C. Agarwal, Additional Munsif Magistrate No. 1. First Class, Alwar. This also pertains to certain news-item oublished in the same issue as in case No. 864 of 1972 i. e. of 23-8-1972 wherein certain insinuations have been made against Shri P- C. Agarwal also. It has been stated that formerly he was Munsiff Magistrate, First Class, at Raiearh where he had taken illegal gratification in huge auantitv and also used to set wine from wine-contractors whose matters were pending before him. It was further stated that Shri P. C. Agarwal is in the habit of issuing two warrants against every accused and that in the matter of granting bail Shri P. C- Agarwal used to take huae bribe. Special reference was made to a case 'State v. Hemrai1 of Police Station. Ramgarh wherein Shri P. C Agarwal was alleged to have rejected the bail application of Shri Hemrai in the first instance and when a bribe of Rs, 5,000/- was paid to him, bail was granted and ultimately after taking another Rs. 5,000/- the accused was acquitted. It was further said that this was only one among hundreds of such cases.

7. We may state, here, that in this very issue we find another column wherein wild allegations have been made against Shri Shivlehari Sharma, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Alwar. It has been stated that Shri Shivlehari Sharma has a number of touts for procuring bribe and that his loot is increasing every dav. The news-item goes on to state that the monthly income of Shri Shivlehari Sharma is Rs. 10 to 15 thousand through his agents. Particular reference has been made to cases of jats of Moondpur and of Mangilal of Roopa-was under Sections 145. 107/117 Criminal P. C. respectively, in connection with which huge illegal gratifications have been taken. It was further stated that ordina-rilv litigants in the courts of Shri Narhari Sharma, Shri P. C. Agarwal and Shri Shivlehari Sharma were contemplating to move for transfer of their cases from their courts. In conclusion, it has been mentioned that if the State Government and the Chief Justice did not pay heed to these complaints, the said editor, printer and publisher and his supporters would go on hunger strike. He has further exhorted the readers of his paper to send complaints to him against the said Officers so that he may give wide publicity to the same. The learned Deputy Government Advocate has submitted affidavit of Shri P. C. Agarwal in this case also.

8. Reading the impugned News items in the various issues referred to above of which the non-petitioner is the editor, printer and publisher as is clear from the copies of the news papers them- selves and as also proved by the affidavits of Shri Narhari Sharma and Shri P. C. Agarwal. it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the impunged news-items or articles not only exceed the bounds of fair and reasonable criticism but there is a clear imputation of not only impropriety but lack of integrity of the highest order against the three Judicial Officers Shri Narhari Sharma, Shri P. C. Agarwal and Shri Shivlehari Sharma- Most scurrilous and scandalous remarks have been made against the said officers so as to shake the confidence of the public in the administration of justice by the courts. It is not merely a libel and defamation of a particular individual nor the wrong has been done to the officer concerned personally but it has been done to the public as a whole. The publication of the impugned news-item creates and tends to create an apprehension in the minds of the people regarding the integrity, ability or fairness of the Presiding Officer of the Court and also to deter actual and prospective litigants from placing complete reliance upon the Court administration of justice apart from the fact that they are likely to cause embarrassment of the higher order in the minds .of the persons concerned in the discharge of their judicial duties. Reference in this connection may be made to the following observations by their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Brahma Prakash Sharma v. State of U. P. : 1954CriLJ238 .

A defamatory attack on a Judge may be a libel so far as the Judge is concerned and it would be open to him to proceed against the libeller in a proper action if he so chooses. If however, the publication of the disparaging statement is calculated to interfere with the due course of justice or proper administration of law by such, .court, it can be punished summarily as contempt. One is a wrong done to the Judge personally while the other is a wrong done to the public. It will be an injured to the public if it tends to create an apprehension in the minds of the people regarding the integrity, ability or fairness of the Judge or to deter actual and prospective litigants from placing complete reliance upon the court's administration of justice, if it is likely to cause embarrassment in the mind of the Judge himself in the discharge of his judicial duties.

9. We may state, here, that the non-petitioner has shown no contrition in the matter of publication of the impugned articles far from tendering an unqualified apology- He has not even tried to Put in appearance before the Court nor shown any repentance for the wrong done by him.

10. In our opinion, on the principles stated by their Lordships in : 1954CriLJ238 and reiterated in a later case of the Supreme Court 'Perspective Publications (P) Ltd. v. State of Maharashtra' : 1971CriLJ268 there is no doubt in our minds that the impugned articles or news-items constitute a clear contempt of court.

11. The petitioner is therefore, liable to be punished for committing contempt of Court- He is hereby sentenced to simple imprisonment for one month together with fine amounting to Rs. 200/-(Two Hundred) in each case, in default of payment of fine he will undergo further simple imprisonment for one month. The substantive sentence is made to run concurrently in all the cases.

12. The District Magistrate, Alwar is directed to get the accused arrested and send him to jail to serve out the sentence awarded to him.

13. Let a copy of this judgment be placed on the file of each case.


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