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NalIn Chandra Pal Vs. Bejoy Ranjan Ganguly and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectContempt of Court
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Case NumberMisc. Case No. 19 of 1952
Judge
Reported inAIR1953Cal53,56CWN537
ActsContempt of Court Act, 1926 - Sections 1 and 3; ;Indian Penal Code (IPC) - Sections 406 and 420
AppellantNalIn Chandra Pal
RespondentBejoy Ranjan Ganguly and anr.
Appellant AdvocateN.K. Basu, ;Ajit Kumar Dutt and ;Kanai Lal Dutta, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateBibhuti Bhusan Das Gupta, Adv.
Excerpt:
- .....exhibit b to the petition, there can, i think, be no doubt whatsoever that the writer intended to bring pressure through the president of the west bengal pradesh congress committee on the petitioner to pay up what it was alleged he had cheated the opposite-party. it is pointed out that the probabilities are that the petitioner will be convicted and that would bring great disgrace on all concerned. therefore, the president is urged to bring pressure on the petitioner.[9] the petitioner was upholding the orders of the courts below which exonerated him from all criminal liability. if the congress president had attempted to bring pressure on him and i may say at once that it is not suggested that the congress president ever acted in that manner -- it might have had serious consequences. the.....
Judgment:

Harries, C.J.

1. This is an application for the conviction and punishment of the opposite-par ties for contempt of this Court.

2. The opposite-party No. l Bejoy Ranjan Ganguly filed a complaint in the Court of the Sub-Divisional Officer, Alipore, against the present petitioner and another charging them with offences under Sections 420 and 406, Penal Code. It is unnecessary to deal in detail with these offences. But what was suggested was that the opposite-party had been induced to take certain land on the representation that the land belonged to certain lessors, whereas in fact it was said that it was khas-mahal land.

3. The matter first came before a Sub-Divisional Magistrate who directed a Circle Officer to hold an enquiry. The latter submitted a report and expressed the view that this was not a criminal matter.

4. The opposite-party thereafter filed a petition and on that a judicial enquiry was held by a learned Magistrate. The learned Magistrate was of opinion that the offence under Section 406 was entirely misconceived and that there was no material upon which any charge of cheating could be sustained. The result was that the complaint was dismissed under Section 203, Criminal P. C.

5. The opposite-party No. 1 thereupon filed a revision application in the Court of the District Magistrate who held eventually that there was no ground whatsoever for interference and that the order of discharge was fully justified.

6. The opposite-party then moved this Court in revision and a rule was issued calling upon the present petitioner and his co- accused to show cause why the orders made by the trial Court and the Additional District Magistrate should not be set aside.

7. 'While this revisional application was pending the petitioner alleges that the opposite-party wrote a letter to the President of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee through the Secretary. It seems that the petitioner was at that time a candidate for election in the General Election and was a candidate nominated by the Congress party. In this letter it is pointed out that there were criminal proceedings pending against the petitioner and that it was very doubtful whether he could escape from criminal liability. The writer then adds :

'To save him and also the Congress candidate as Mr. Paul's illfame will affect them, I request you to arrange with Mr. Paul to repay our full amount with costs.'

8. Reading this letter,-which is Exhibit B to the petition, there can, I think, be no doubt whatsoever that the writer intended to bring pressure through the President of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee on the petitioner to pay up what it was alleged he had cheated the opposite-party. It is pointed out that the probabilities are that the petitioner will be convicted and that would bring great disgrace on all concerned. Therefore, the President is urged to bring pressure on the petitioner.

[9] The petitioner was upholding the orders of the Courts below which exonerated him from all criminal liability. If the Congress President had attempted to bring pressure on him and I may say at once that it is not suggested that the Congress President ever acted in that manner -- it might have had serious consequences. The opposite-party certainly wished and expected the Congress President to bring pressure on the petitioner, and had he done so the whole course of events might have been completely changed. Fortunately, it would appear that the Congress President took the right course and reported the matter to the petitioner leaving it to him to take what action he thought proper.

10. Attempting in this way to bring pressure upon a party to proceedings, undoubtedly tends substantially to interfere with the due course of justice. Here the petitioner may have been so coerced as to admit liability in a case in which he might well be not liable. It appears to me that this letter, Exhibit B, is clearly contempt of Court in that it tended to interfere with the due course of justice in this Court. It was written with the object of making the petitioner withdraw and admit the justice of the opposite-party's claim.

11. There is no doubt as to the authorship of this letter because the opposite-party No. l admits that it was written on his behalf by the pen of his son, opposite-party No. 2. It is said that opposite-party No. 2 is a minor, and in any event obviously the responsibility for this letter is the responsibility of opposite-party No. 1. We, therefore, do not think that it is necessary to find opposite-party No. 2 guilty.

12. Opposite-party No. l however is clearly guilty of contempt of Court and the only matter which has caused us any anxiety is the appropriate punishment to be inflicted. If this sort of thing occurs again, this Court will have no alternative but to impose a substantial period of imprisonment. But as this is the first case of this kind which has come before myself and my learned brother, we are inclined to take a more lenient view. 'We think 'that the interests of justice will be met by imposing a fine of Rs. 75 (seventy-five rupees). The opposite-party No. 1 is given fourteen days to pay the fine. But if it is not paid within that time he will undergo a period of fourteen days' simple imprisonment.

S.R. Das Gupta J.

13. I agree.


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