1. This is an application by one Kedar Nand for punishment of his brother Jagat Ram, Mohini and Chanani, nephew Harinand and Jagat Ram's daughters-in-law Mts. Amar Dei and Shankar Dei for contempt of Court under Section 3, Contempt of Courts Act (32 of 1952).
2. The petitioner is the plaintiff and his aforesaid brothers the defendants in a suit instituted in the Court of the Senior Subordinate Judge of Mahasu for a declaration that the plaintiff is entitled as possessory mortgagee to exclusive possession of certain land and for an Injunction to restrain the said defendants from interfering with his possession. After the in-stitution of the suit the plaintiff obtained a temporary injunction under Order 39, Rule 1, Civil P. C., restraining the defendants from interfering with the plaintiff's possession of land.
It is alleged in the present petition that in, spite of the service of the said prohibitory order the defendants cut the harvest from the land in question. It is further alleged that Harinand and Mts. Amar Dei and Shankar Dei (who were not defendants in the suit) joined the defendants in cutting and removing the harvest despite full knowledge of the said prohibitory order. It is, therefore, prayed that all the said six opposite parties be punished for contempt of Court.
3. All the six respondents are represented by Sri M. L. Aukta Advocate. So far as the three respondents who are not defendants in the aforesaid suit are concerned, he contends that since the temporary injunction in question had not been addressed to them, they are guilty of no contempt. This proposition has not been questioned by the learned counsel for the petitioner.
4. So far as the other three respondents are concerned, they have filed a written statement in this Court wherein they have admitted having cut the harvest despite service on them of the aforesaid prohibitory order under Order 39, Rule 1, Civil P. C., and they have tendered an unqualified apology and beg to be excused for their act.
5. The learned counsel for the petitioner has, however, contended that the apology tendered is not an unqualified one, and in support of this contention he has cited--'Rex v. Mohd. Etizad Rasul Khan', AIR 1953 All 266 (A). That was, however, a case in which it was observed that the apology was neither full nor unreserved because the written statement challenged every point raised on behalf of the applicants and it was even stoutly denied that any contempt of Court had taken place. Apology was tendered only in the event of the defence not being accepted by the Court.
That is not so in the present case. True, the respondents have pleaded that they cut the crop in good faith since it was they who had cultivated the land and sown the crop. The mere fact that the respondents have put forward a certain allegation with regard to the right claimed by them in the land or in the harvest growing on the land does not mean that the apology offered by them, is conditional. The matter of the respective rights of the parties in the land in suit is still sub judice, and surely if cannot be asserted by any show of reason that while finding an apology the respondents should have given up all assertions of their own right in the land and admitted the right of the plaintiff-petitioner.
So far as the commission of contempt is concerned, the respondents have clearly and without any reservation admitted the fact, and they have tendered an unqualified apology for the same. That being so, the case cited by the learned counsel for the petitioner has no application here, and I hold that the apology being unqualified should be accepted.
At the same time, I quite agree with the learned counsel for the petitioner and with learned Government Advocate that costs of this petition should be awarded to them. Indeed, the learned counsel for the respondents did not contest their right for the same. So far as Harinand and Mts. Amar Dei and Shankar Dei are concerned, no written statement has beenfiled on their behalf, nor has any certificate of fee been filed. That being so, even though the petition is being rejected against them, they cannot be awarded any costs.
6. The apology offered by Jagat Ram, Mohiniand Chanani is accepted and they are discharged; but they will pay Rs. 50/- as costs tothe petitioner and a like amount as costs tothe Government Advocate. The application ofKedar Nand is rejected as against Harinandand Mts. Amar Dei and Shankar Dei.