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Sadhu Venkayya and anr. Vs. Colla Meenakshamma - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectContempt of Court
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. Petn. No. 1115 of 1949
Judge
Reported inAIR1952Mad180; (1951)2MLJ583
AppellantSadhu Venkayya and anr.
RespondentColla Meenakshamma
Appellant AdvocateP.V. Chalapathi Rao, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateA. Bhujanga Rao and ;D.R. Krishna Rao, Advs.
DispositionRevision allowed
Excerpt:
- .....carefulreading of the judgment of the learned subordinatejudge leads me to the conclusion that the learnedsubordinate judge has acted upon the principleof constructive liability for the disobedience of theorder. in cases where persons have to be committed for contempt of court for the reason thatthey disobeyed the orders of court, no questionof constructive liability would arise. on the otherhand, it is absolutely essential that it should beproved beyond doubt that the persons who werecharged with contempt did really disobey an ordervalidly passed by court and which was broughthome to them, and a copy of which was personallyserved in the manner required by the procedure.instead of giving a finding that the firstand second respondents before him have beenproved to have committed contempt.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Basheer Ahmed Sayeed, J.

1. This revision petition has been preferred by defendants 1 and 2 who have been committed for contempt of Court by the learned First Additional Subordinate Judge of Guntur for having disobeyed the order passed by the learned District Munsif of Guntur not to cut and remove the crops on the land to which the petitioners laid claim as owners, on the appointment of a receiver.

2. The learned District Munsif who heard the application for committing these petitioners for contempt dismissed the application as there were not sufficient grounds to hold that the defendants committed any disobedience of his order, but on appeal by the plaintiffs the learned Subordinate Judge of Guntur while holding that there was no sufficient evidence to establish the individual guilt of defendants 3 to 9 and that there was no satisfactory evidence to prove that they have taken part, still held that the defendants 1 and 2 whowere the owners of the land should, be deemed responsible for the disobedience of the order of injunction. He further found that the defendants 1 and 2 had deliberately disobeyed the order of injunction and that they were liable to be punished by being sent to civil prison and committed them for a period of two months holding that that period would be sufficient. Defendants 1 and 2 have preferred this revision petition,

3. I have been taken through the evidence andin particular the report of the commissionerwho was appointed for the purpose of harvestingthe crops that were in dispute and also the judgments of the Courts below. On a careful consideration of the evidence as also the reasoning givenin the learned Subordinate Judge's judgment, I amconstrained to observe that the learned SubordinateJudge has not been correct in holding that defendants 1 and 2 were responsible for any disobedience.The commissioner's report which is the main, basisfor coming to the conclusion that there was anydisobedience on the part of defendants 1 and 2is most inconclusive on the point, and if that report Is to be accepted, there can be no Justification for holding that defendants 1 and 2 had committed any disobedience at all. In his judgment,the learned Subordinate Judge has himself observed that the commissioner's report does not Implicate defendants 1 and 2 in such a manner as toconvict them of contempt of Court. A carefulreading of the judgment of the learned SubordinateJudge leads me to the conclusion that the learnedSubordinate Judge has acted upon the principleof constructive liability for the disobedience of theorder. In cases where persons have to be committed for contempt of Court for the reason thatthey disobeyed the orders of Court, no questionof constructive liability would arise. On the otherhand, it is absolutely essential that it should beproved beyond doubt that the persons who werecharged with contempt did really disobey an ordervalidly passed by Court and which was broughthome to them, and a copy of which was personallyserved in the manner required by the procedure.Instead of giving a finding that the firstand second respondents before him have beenproved to have committed contempt by disobedience of the order of Court, the learned SubordinateJudge has Simply proceeded on certain inferences andsurmises. I do not think such procedure is warranted. If, as I have said before, the commissioner's report, is not conclusive and does not helpIn bringing home the guilt of disobedience to thedefendants 1 and 2, defendants 1 and 2 were entitled to be acquitted to any such offence. I donot think, therefore, that this judgment of thelearned Subordinate Judge could be supported orupheld in so far as he has not found on any acceptable evidence that the 1st and 2nd defendantswilfully committed contempt by disobeying the orderof the District Munsif. Simply because defendants 1 and 2 are the owners and simply becausethey state that they were interested in the crop,it cannot be presumed that they should have in-stigated the people who actually cut away the;crops, unless there is direct relationship establishedbetween the accused and persons who were actually responsible for the act of cutting and removingthe crops. This has not been, the case In the present petition before me. In such circumstances,I think the order of the learned Subordinate Judgeshould be set aside and the 1st and 2nd defendantsshould be declared not to have committed anycontempt of Court. In the result, this petition isallowed with costs.


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