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Umed Singh Vs. Bahadur Singh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberD.B. Criminal Contempt Petition No. 527 of 1979
Judge
Reported in1980WLN276
AppellantUmed Singh
RespondentBahadur Singh and ors.
Cases ReferredIn Satish Chandra v. Union of India
Excerpt:
contempt of court act - contempt--allegation that justice is auctioned is a heinous allegation mere apology is not sufficient punishment--fine imposed in addition to unconditional apology.;the allegation that the 'justice is sold' or 'justice is auctioned' by judiciary, is not only serious, but heinous type of scandalising of the court. it means that justice becomes a marketable commodity like vegetable or cloth, which can be purchased on payment. it means judgments can be purchased on payment of certain coins. it means that decisions are not given on merits not according to law, but according to price which one can pay. an allegation of dishonesty, bribery or partiality is most serious stigma on the conduct of a judicial officer, and when it is made generally, it tarnishes the image of.....g.m. lodha, j.1. the emblem or symbol of 'justice' is 'balance' or 'scales' a judge is required to maintain it 'even' mericulously and not to allow it to 'tilt' on any consideration whatsoever. 'tilting of the balance' of justice or the scales of justice 'by weight of 'coins' is the very antithesis of a judge' and 'justice'. it is the worst 'stigma' against a judge. for a judge 'independence' is heart' and 'integrity' is his 'lung'. for judge: if quantity is lost, nothing is lost if quality is lost something is lost but if (sic) integrity or impartiality is lost everything is lost.2. the present contempt proceedings arises due to contemner's outburst justice is sold in open market' against judiciary. a humble munsif lowest in the ladder, being the first casualty, and also the worst.....
Judgment:

G.M. Lodha, J.

1. The emblem or symbol of 'Justice' is 'Balance' or 'Scales' A Judge is required to maintain it 'even' mericulously and not to allow it to 'tilt' on any consideration whatsoever. 'Tilting of the Balance' of justice or the scales of justice 'by weight of 'coins' is the very antithesis of a Judge' and 'Justice'. It is the worst 'stigma' against a Judge. For a Judge 'independence' is heart' and 'Integrity' is his 'lung'. For Judge: if quantity is lost, nothing is lost if quality is lost something is lost but if (SIC) integrity or impartiality is lost everything is lost.

2. The present contempt proceedings arises due to contemner's outburst Justice is sold in open market' against judiciary. A humble Munsif lowest in the ladder, being the first casualty, and also the worst casualty, as by 'judicial ethics and restrain' he hardly gets opportunity to defend himself against such wild allegations, and had to suffer silently all humiliation, without any demur or protest.

3. Hon'ble the Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court was the Chief guest at a function of inaugural ceremony of the new court building at Sardarshahar, District Churu, in Rajasthan on 26-4-1979. The elite of the town and all important officers of the State Government, and Judicial officers of the District were present in this function, which was organized by the Bar Association and presided by the District Magistrate, Churu. After the Chief Guest and the President had spoken, respondent Shri Bahadur Singh Advocate of Churu appeared on the scene and gave his speech Justice is auctioned; the local court indulges in favouritism and the judgment of the court are known a fortnight in advance in the market' alleged Shri Bahadur Singh. The audience consisting of the High dignitaries was shocked at this scandalous outburst and was resented by the people present there.

4. The Car Association, Sardarshar, passed a resolution on 4-5-1979, which is as under:

vfHkHkkod la?k] ljnkj'kgj dh vkt ;g vlk/kkj.k cSBd loZlEefr ls fuEufyf[kr izLrko ikfjr djrh gS % &

^^ fnukad 27&4&79 dsk LFkkuh; eq[; U;k;ky; ds uofufeZr Hkou dh lnuknu csyk ij ekuuh; eq[; U;k;kf/kifr Jh pkaney ykswBs 'kjkjriw.kZ fujk/kkj ,oa U;k;ikfydk dh xfjek dks fxjkus okys 'kCnks }kjk ^^LFkkuh; dksVZ ^^ es Ik{kikr gksrk gS ] U;k; fcdrk gS rFkk QSlyks ds ckjs es iUnzg fnu iwoZ gh cktkj es [kcj vk tkrh gS ^^ vkfn vkjksi yxk;s A vfHkHkkod la?k ljnkj 'kgj loZ&lEefr; ls Jh cgknqj flag ,MoksdsV ds bl dFku dh xksj fuUnk o HkRlZuk djrk gS A

vfHkHkkod la?k 'kgj loZ&lEifRr; ls Jh cgknqj flag ,sMoksdsV mDr dFku dks e;kZnk foghu ,oa leLr U;k;ikfydk dks viekfur djus okyk rFkk vfHkHkkodks dh vk/kkj lafgrk ds foijhr ekurh gS vkSj iqj tksj 'kCnks es ekax djrk gS fd Jh cgknqj flag ,MoksdsV ds f[kykQ rRdky dBksj ls dBksj dk;Zokgh dh tkos A ^^

The news of the above criticism of the judiciary got wide publicity, and 'Dainik Navjyoti', an important newspaper in Rajasthan, narrated 10 under the caption' vnkyrh QSlys vkmV gksus dk vkjksi According to this news item on unusual arose when the above advocate publicly and openly criticized the local Munsif for selling justice in the market, doing favouritism and intimating the judgment a fortnight prior to its announcement. According to this new item there was pandemonium in the function, when Bahadur Sigh made this scathing criticism of judiciary, and Hem Chand Mali, Advocate, had to intervene to declare that the allegation was false and wholly unfounded, & Bahadur Singh was not a member of the Bar, but, he was a broker of tax dozers.

5. It was then mentioned in the news Item that the Munsif Magistrate requested the Chief Justice that he should be allowed hearing, against such wild false allegation and further permitted to take proceedings by instituting a case against Bahadur Singh.

6. One Umed Singh, Advocate of Sardarshar then applied for permission to launch for contempt proceedings, and the Advocate General Shri Rule K. Rastogi accepted the application, and vide letter dated 6-10-1979, Annexure A 3 granted it under Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, to move a competent court for an action for contempt of court. On 21-10-1979, Shri Umed Singh Rathore filed this contempt petition and on 25-10-1979, a Division Bench of this Court issued a notice to the non-petitioner Bahadur Singh.

7. Shri Bahadur Singh has filed an apology to it, which reads as under:

I, Bahadur Singh son of Shri Brija Singh by caste Rajput, Advocate, Churu, unconditionally tender apology & most humbly & respectfully submit that I had no intention or motive to scandalise any court by lowering the authority or prestige of any court or judicial authority including the court of Munsif of Sardarshahar.

Mr. S.R. Singh, advocate for the petitioner, Umed Singh, has filed an application mentioning the since he would be out of station, this case may not be called and adjourned for same future date. However, we are of the opinion that in a case of scandalising the court and undermining the authority of the court, though a complainant can inform a court by a petition, the principle concern is of the court to consider the case objectively in a detached manner in order to decide whether there has been, in fact, contempt, & if so punishment would meet the end of justice. In this view of the matter, the prayer for adjournment did not deserve any serious consideration, and is consequently rejected. There is no lis between the complainant applicant, & the contemner in such cases, nor the court can allow it to become an instrument of the private vendenta.

8. At Sardarshahar, there is only one judicial court of the Munsif Magistrate. The resolution of the Sardarshahar Bar Association mentions that the local Munsif Magistrate was honest and sincere for his duty, and very enthusiastic and famous for doing justice, and the allegations were false, mischievous, baseless and such, which undermines the dignity of the judiciary. According to this resolution, the unwanted criticism by Bahadursingh, Advocate were scandalous of the entire judiciary and against the professional ethics and conduct of advocates. It was strongly pleaded that serious action should be taken against Shri Bahadur Singh for bringing disgrace to the Bar and qringing judiciary In contempt.

9. Contemner Bahadur Singh has not chosen to raise any controversy about these facts mentioned above and in not doing so he has been very well advised by senior counsel Shri Lekh Raj Mehta.

10. We are, therefore, to proceed on the assumption that the facts mentioned, above, are true correct & faithful narration of the incident which resulted in these proceedings of contempt. These are words certainly scandalous and the contemner is guilty of committing contempt of court by scandalising the Judiciary in general and the local Munsif in particular.

11. According to the federal structure of the Constitution, the legislature, the executive and the judiciary constitute the three important wings of the State the judiciary plays the most important role as watch dog of the Constitution, to apply 'check and balances' bath for the functioning of the Constitution and the various laws and the executive. It is known for its independence and Integrity, and that is the reason why when ever any serious Incident rocks any State, a demand for judicial enquiry is made in & outside the legislature of country. The judiciary is required to adjudicate inter as between the citizen and also, between the citizens and the State and sometimes, between the various wings of the State itself and sometimes between Legislators v. Judiciary as happened in U.P. Speaker's case, where President made reference in Keshar Singh's case.

12. It is thus, required to play an important role in the administration of justice in this country. This cannot be possible unless it inspires confidence and people look towards it with utmost confidence and respect of getting justice and justice alone. The expectancy for getting unadulterated and pure justice from the temples of justice can only be maintained if people act with restraint and utmost respect to the majesty of law and justice. The slightest effort to undermine the status and dignity of court or a Judge deserves to be taken serious note of and should be dealt with a heavy hand. It assumes all the more importance when the Majesty of law and justice is undermined and the respect in the temples of justice is, shattered by such scandalization of court by none else than a member of the Bar having ten years standing. This is so because the Bar and the Bench are the twins of judiciary; and in other words, they are both limbs of the same juristic body. Such 'contempt partakes the character of 'suicide in contradistinction to 'Homicide as known in the Criminal Jurisprudence,

13. There cannot be any room for doubt that the allegation that the justice is sold' or 'justice is auctioned' by judiciary is not only serious, but heinous type of scandalising of the court. It means that justice becomes a marketable commodity like vegetable or cloth, which can be purchased on payment. It means judgment can by purchased on payment of certain coins. It means that decisions are not given on merits, not according to law, but according to the price which one can pay. An allegation of dishonesty bribery or partiality the most serious stigma on the conduct of judicial officer, and when it is made generally, it tarnishes the image of the entire judiciary.

14. The fact that the occasion of function attended by the entire elite of the city, the highest dignatory and the tops members of judiciary and the several members of the Bar, where the temple of Justice was being inaugurated and Hon'ble the Chief Justice was being welcomed and greeted, was chosen the time and the venue for such scandalous attacks, makes the nature of the contempt more serious, and the scandalization became 60 notorious that even the important newspaper of the State carried banner headlines against the judiciary based on the report of the contemner's speech, and the Bar Association passed resolution condemning it for irreparable harm, which he has done.

15. After undermining and bringing in disrepute administration of justice, be did not choose to publish any apology for the mistake and the blunder committed by him anywhere either in the newspaper or by writing of the Bar Association or to the Munsif Magistrate or to the Hon'ble Chief Justice. This all shows the adamancy of the contemner and it aggravates his offence.

16. Even before this Court, after the service of contempt notice, he did not hasten to submit an unconditional apology & make any effort to purge himself from the contempt as though he appeared on 22-10-1979 and the case was adjourned to 10-12-1979 and then to 19-12-1979 and then to 5-1-1980 no such apology was filed It was only when the hearing commenced on 21-1-1980, the above apology was filed in the Court.

17. In Surendranath Banerjee v. C.J. of Bengal (1883) (10) Cal 109 PC the Privy Council has broadly defined contempt. In Ramakrishan Reddy v. State of Madras : 1952CriLJ832 , the Supreme Court laid down important proposition in this respect. The article purported to convey to its readers that the Sub-Magistrate of Kovvur was a bribe-taker. Instances were cited where it was rumored that the officer had either taken bribes or had put parties to undue harassment as they were abdurate enough to refuse the demands of his broker. The High Court of Madras held it was clear contempt calculated to lower the prestige & dignity of court and bring into disrepute the administration of justice. In special leave the Supreme Court was of the opinion that the contemner in this case based his articles on rumours & was not in a position to prove them & further the allegations were so scurrilous that it was more than defamation and was clear contempt.

18. In Surendranath Banerjee's case (supra), the 'Bengalee' published a scurrilous attack on Judge Norris, comparing him to the odious Jeffrys and Scrogg and stating that he set the Hooghly on fire by directing a sacred Hindu Saligram to be brought into court precincts, an act of Zubberdusti. In this case, Surendra Nath's apology was not considered, and he was convicted for contempt of court. In the instant case, it was not in dispute that the allegations contained in the speech of the contemner constitute gross contempt as they scandalise the local judiciary and undermined the prestige, status dignity and impartiality of the court and administration of justice.

19. The sole question is whether the apology should be accepted and no punishment is required to be given. In the matter of Hiren Bose, contemner (2), the Calcutta High Court Special Bench, while dealing with the question of apology, observed as under:

Submission of an apology as an apologia to the contemner's other contentions is to exhibit a desire to escape punishment without really being contrite. Court should not accept such qualified apologies. It is also not a matter of course that a Judge can be expected to accept any apology. Apology cannot be a weapon of defence forged always to purge the guilty. It intended to be evidence of real contrition, the manly consciousness of a wrong done, of an injury inflicted and the earnest desire to make such reparation as lies in the wrong doer's power. Only then is it or any avail in a Court of justice. But before it can have that effect, it should be tendered at the earliest stage, not the latest, Even if wisdom dawns at a latter stage, the apology should be tendered unreservedly and unconditionally, before the Judge has indicated the trend of his mind. Unless that is done, not only is the tendered apology robbed of all grace but it ceases to be an apology. It ceases to be full, frank and manly confession of a wrong done, which it is intended to be.

An apology certainly has this virtue that it minimises the gravity of the offence committed by the contemner, but it does not wholly absolve him of the guilt.

20. In Lal Behari and Ors. v. State : AIR1953All153 , the question of acceptance of an apology was considered as under:

In cases of contempt the Court is not bound to accept an apology or even an unqualified apology. The question whether it should do so or not would depend on circumstances of each particular case. A court can refuse to accept an apology which it does not believe to be genuine, it can even when it accepts the apology, commit an offender to prison or otherwise punish him. Further more there cannot be both justification and apology. The two things are incompatible. Where the apology does not seem to be so much the out-pouring of a penitent heart moved by feeling of remorse and overcome by a sense of ones own guilt, as a convenient device clutched up by a person driven and compelled by the logic of events to resort to a measure which seems to him to provide the only mode of escape from the impending doom or as a last desperate throw in a game of chance hazarded by him at a time when all else has failed and everything seems to be lost, it should be considered to be merely an apology for an apology. It deserves to be given short shrift at the hands of the Court.

21. In Umesh Saigal and Anr. v. Rule K. Dalmia : AIR1969Delhi214 , a Special Bench considered an apology of Shri Dalmia, but refused to accept it and then observed as under:

That takes me to the punishment & I must confess that this has given me a few anxious moments. I how ever, feel that having regard to the fact that Shri R.K. Dalmia is an old man of about 75 years with 111 health and must have been carrying a feeling of frustration on one of his workmen being gent to jail when an order for bail had already been passed, I consider that the interest of justice will be served by administering a warning to Shri Dalmia. This lesser punishment is being awarded having regard to the circumstances of this case but we do not want sound a note of warning that any act impairing the majesty of Courts will be dealt with strongly. I would like to point out that no person has a choice of taking law into his own hands and interfere with the impartial administration of justice. If any person has any grievance against judicial orders made by Courts there are ample remedies for rectification of errors, but the flow of administration of justice must be kept unimpeded and Its channels clear. The contemner will also pay Rs. 200/- as costs.

Shri Dalmia also rendered a written apology towards the end of arguments, it is stated in that application:

I had no intention to commit any contempt of Court and as advised by my counsel, I committed no such contempt. Still if the Hon'ble Court consider that what I uttered constitutes contempt of Court, I tender my unqualified apology.

This is no apology in the eye of law, and I would decline to accept it.

22. Messrs Mehta and Goel appearing for the contemner, Invited our attention to the judgment of Dinavandhu Sahu, v. State of Orissa : 1972CriLJ39 , where the apology was held to be sufficient. It was observed:

Where the Court is convinced about the sincerity of the apology asked by the contemnors through their counsel at the time of bearing, the conviction merely on the ground that apology was cot tendered at earlier stage and was not in writing is not sustained.

Before the Supreme Court in that case, the learned Advocate for the State conceded that the apology should be accepted. Mare over in the peculiar circumstances of the political controversy. It was observed by the Supreme Court:

What ever may have been the justification for the High Court to initiate the proceedings in respect of a matter, which in the state of the atmosphere then prevailing was likely to create a suspicion, whether justifiable or imaginary, in the public mind and particularly in the mind of the litigants, by the circumstance that a person who is a respondent in a case where a judgment was reserved was given prominence and referred to in terms of praise or eulogy, that situation had changed after the learned Chief Justice had given an explanation for the reasons why Dr. Mahtab was given a seat among the few selected persons at the Buffet lunch and other matter incidental thereto. The apology tendered was not merely an apology but was something more than an apology because what was asked of the Court out of its generosity was forgiveness; that this was sincerely meant is amply demonstrated by its being repeated again before us. We think that the contempt If any has been certainly purged in the manner in which the apology was given and the matter should have been set at rest there. It is no part of the judicial function to be vindictive or allow any personal or other considerations to enter in the discharge of its functions and since both the learned Chief Justice and Misra, J. would have been prepared to accept that apology if it was given by the appellants themselves and in writing, & since Mr. Chari said that the appellants would have been prepared to give such an apology in writing, if that was the only thing that was required and even now are ready and willing to do so we feel that the apology tendered on their behalf by their Senior Advocate can well be accepted and the proceedings closed. We accordingly allow the appeals, set aside the convictions and direct the repayment of the fine, If any, and close the proceedings.

Our attention was also drawn to the judgment of this Court, State of Rajasthan v. M. Rule Mitruke 1978 RLW 224. A Bench of this Court was of the opinion that the proceedings were misconceived, because they were not initiated by a Bench of two Judge. However, on the merits of the case also, the following observations were made:

In Saradekanta's case : 1952CriLJ832 , their Lordships of the Supreme Court quoted with approval the following observations made by Jagannadhadar Chief Justice (as he then was) of the Orissa High Court in the State v. The Editors and Publishers of Eastern Times and Prajatantra (4):

A review of the cases is which a contempt committed by way of scandalization of the Court has been, taken notice of for punishment shows clearly that the exercise of the punitive jurisdiction is confined to cases of very grave and scurrilous attack on the Court or on the Judges in their judicial capacity the ignoring of which could only result in encouraging a re-petition of the same with the sense of impunity which would thereby result in lowering the prestige and authority of the Court.

Section 13 of the Act in substance enacts what their Lordships have observed and it has been provided therein that no court shall impose a sentence under this Act for contempt of Court unless it is satisfied that the contempt is of such a nature that it substantially interferes or tends substantially to interfere with the due course of justice. We have examined the matter with' great earnestness and although we find that the respondent in his over zealousness has made some exaggerations, yet we ate unable to find that while writing the letter in question he was actuated by any improper motive or malicious intention to scandalise the court or to do any act which may lower the authority or prestige of this Court, or of judiciary in general. We are, therefore, of the view that it is not a fit case in which action need be taken against the alleged contemner.

23. It would be pertinent to note that the Court was of the opinion that the reference to corruption in the letter in question was in relation to officials working in the judiciary and not to any of the judges of this Court or the judicial officers.

24. The above would show that if the reference would have been of Judicial Officer, the Court would take a serious view in that case also. But, since it was only for the ministerial staff, there was no question of dis-reputing judiciary, and undermining its prestige and status.

25. In the above case, it has been further emphasised that the motive and the intention of the contemner should be seen. In the instant case, the very fact that in a large gathering of the elite, where the speeches were made by the Hon'ble Chief Justice and other persons and a building of a court-room was being inaugurated, the contemner chose to scandalise the very judicial officer of that Court by saying that justice is being sold in the open market, in addition to others, makes no room to doubt that the sole intention of the contemner was to scandalise the judiciary in the eyes of the public at large and in the eyes of the Chief Justice in particular.

26. We are of the opinion that any raising of finger at the judiciary by such scandalization should be dealt with severely by this Court, not only for punishing the contemner in the case but also for creating circumstances on account of which repetitions and reoccurrence of such scandalization of the courts are prevented. It was on account of this that the founding fathers of the Constitution enacted Article 215 of the Constitution to provide protection to the judiciary and for taking penal action.

27. It is to be noted that in M.Y. Shareaf another v. Hon'ble Judge of the Nagpur High Court and Ors. : 1955CriLJ133 their Lordships considered the liability of counsel regarding of a petition containing materials scandalising the Court and observed as under:

This misconception has to be rooted out by a clear and emphatic pronouncement, and we think it should be widely made known that counsel who sign applications or pleadings containing matter scandalizing the Court 'without reasonably' satisfying themselves about the prima facie existence of adequate grounds 'therefore, with a view to prevent or delay the course of justice, are themselves guilty of contempt of Court, and that it is no duty of counsel to his client to take any interest in such application's; on the other hand, his duty is to advice his client from refraining from making allegations of this nature in such applications. Once the fact is recognized as was done by the High Court here that the members of the Bar have not fully realized the implications of their signing such applications and are firmly, under the belief that their conduct in doing so is in accordance with professional ethics, it has to be held that the act of the two appellants in this case was done under a mistaken view of their rights and duties, and in such cases even a qualified apology may well be considered by a Court.

28. In that very case, the Court further observed as under:

Having approached the matter thus, the learned Judges referred in a large number of cases for the admitted proposition of law that a ''sincere apology does not entitle a contemner as of right to a remission of the sentence' it was further thought that acceptance of apology, would lead to an invidious distinction being made in the case of two advocates and Zikar.

In the result the apology was not accepted and the report concluded with the following observations:

If in the circumstances at this case the apology were to be accepted, we would be encouraging the notion that it is the contemner's right to get his apology accepted when he chosen and in what ever manner he tenders even in a case where he was aggravated the original offence. We will be unsettling established principles, and setting bad precedent Above all, we would be dealing a blow to the authority of the Court, the consequence or which cannot be viewed with enquanimity

29. On careful and thoughtful consideration of the principles in relation to the question of acceptance of apology, we are of the opinion that mere apology in the instant case is not sufficient looking to the gravity and seriousness of the contempt committed by the contemner as we agree with the above observation (emphasis ours). It should not be forgotten that the view which we are likely to take in such matters in bound to effect the general respect and dignity of the courts and the efforts to undermine them and bring them in contempt by unscrupulous persons or people having vested interest. Occasion and the venue where the contemner publicly and openly scandalised the judiciary, right at the very nose of the Hon'ble Chief Justice, calls for a deterrent punishment to meet the ends of justice and to prevent such recurrences in future. If the apology would not have been tendered there would have no hesitation in sending the contemner to jail for sufficient & substantial period. However, since the apology has been tendered, it would certainly result in lightening the punishment, as it minimises the gravity of the offence.

30. An apology should not be allowed to have an amusing effect of magic formula for avoiding the punishment, the contemner deserves. Apologies tendered for the purpose of avoiding punishment only proves that the submission of apology was 'tactical' and trickery' played on the court. They are 'crocodile tears' only and deserve not to be accepted simpliciter.

31. In Satish Chandra v. Union of India, this Court (per G M. Lodha J., ) observed:

It is pertinent to re-call here that the then Chief Justice Gajendra Gadkar said on June 15, 1965, in a meeting West Minister Hall which was arranged to celebrate the signing of the Magna Carta. The Chief Justice observed thus: 'I deem it to be a proud privilege that I should have been given an opportunity to participate in this morning's commemoration of the 750th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta. Men love and live by symbols and ever since Magna Carta was signed by the unwilling monarch at the Runnymede on 15-6 1215 A.D., it has been assigned a place to pride among the historical symbols by all democracies in the world. The significance of Magna Carta lies not so much in its specific provisions; these dealt with contemporary problems and found remedies for grievances flowing from feudalism; its significance lies in the spirit of liberty which it breathed, the recognition which it gave to the dignity of the personality of the individual citizen, his freedom and his property; and the supremacy of law which at established. Laws bind all alike, the king, the barons & the common man that is the spirit of the message of Magna Carta.

On this occasion, as a student of Indian Jurisprudence I feel tempted to recall that more than a thousand years before Magna Carta was signed, an ancient Indian philosopher of a jurisprudence had described the majesty of law in terms which may sound significant and meaningful even today, said the Indian jurist. 'Law is the kind of Kings, far more rigid and powerful than they. There is nothing higher than law; & by its prowess as by that of the highest monarch in heaven, the weak shall prevail over the strong and justice will triumph'.

It was then observed by this Court: (Per G.M. Lodha J.)

'All the officers, the citizens in general, the litigants & the State functionaries in all seriousness should keep the following eternal saying of the great Jurist Maharshi Mania as upper-most in our mind, i.e. 'Law Is the Kind of Kings far more rigid and powerful than they, there is nothing higher than law; and by its prowess the weak shall prevail over the strong and justice shall triumph'. I wish this should not only be exhibited as the guide lines is all Government Officers, importance public institutions, street-corners and road corners but acted upon both in letter and spirit by all irrespective of the office, profession, status and assignment which one holds in life.

32. While setting aside the judgment on merits of the case, the Supreme Court agreed with them but added the following;-

We agree but wish to add that the Manu text be exhibited also in court-halls together with Cromwell's famous statement which the great Judge leaned Hand wanted should be hung on legislative and court-halls: I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you might be mistaken.

33. In view of the above observations of the Supreme Court, we are of the opinion that even though normally a serious and grave contempt committed by the contemner by publicly undermining the Integrity and status & dignity of the judiciary in a public gathering of the elite as mentioned above deserves to be punished with deterrent punishment of imprisonment of maximum term of 6 months but because the unconditional apology has been tendered and the fact that Mr. L. Rule Mehta, senior counsel for contemner mentions before us and we have no reason to disbelieve the statement at the Bar of such a senior and eminent counsel, that his client is really repentant for his action, and no effort was made at all to plead any justification or to raise controversy of the fact, we think that the ends of justice would be met if the non-petitioner, who is guilty of contempt of court is punished by a fine of Rs. 100/- (Rupees one hundred only), only, In addition to acceptance of apology. While awarding this minor punishment, we are also exercising restraint in view of the dictum of Learned Justice Hand who quoted 'Cromwell' extracted above by the Supreme Court In the above judgment.

34. We accordingly order that non-petitioner Bahadur is guilty of contempt of court under Section 12 (read with Section 15) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, and if punished with a fine of Rs. 100/. Rupees one hundred only. He Should pay this amount within a period of a seven days from today, failing which he will be sent to jail to undergo simp1e imprisonment of one week, Contemner Bahadur Singh would also pay the cost of Rs. 100/-of this contempt application to the petitioner, Umed Singh, who has taken pains to being this matter to the notice of this Court, after obtaining permission from the Advocate General and thus assisted in maintaining the dignity of the majesty of law and the Courts of justice.

35. The contempt petition, is therefore, accepted as indicated above and rule is made absolute.


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