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Ram Kishor Vs. State of Rajasthan and Ors. - (High Court of Rajasthan) (05 Jan 2018)

An apology tendered by a contemnor should not be rejected merely on ground that, it is qualified or conditional so long it is made bonafide


Contempt of Court

The instant appeal has been filed under Section 19 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 assailing the order passed by the Single Judge holding the Appellant guilty of alleged wilful disobedience of ex-parte orders and discarding the unconditional apology tendered by the Appellant punished him with simple imprisonment of seven days. Appellant submits that, the learned Single Judge while taking cognizance against the Appellant under its order has committed apparent error and no opportunity was afforded to the Appellant.

The law of Contempt of Courts is for keeping the administration of justice pure and undefined. While dignity of the court has to be maintained at all costs. The contempt jurisdiction which is of a special nature should be sparingly used. Undoubtedly, the contempt jurisdiction conferred on the law courts power to punish an offender for his wilful disobedience/contumacious conduct or obstruction to the majesty of law. The contempt jurisdiction is a powerful weapon in the hands of the Courts of law but that by itself operates as a string of caution and unless, otherwise satisfied beyond reasonable doubt, it would neither fair nor reasonable for the law Courts to exercise jurisdiction under the Act. This has also been settled that, the proceedings are quasi-criminal in nature and standard of proof required in these proceedings is beyond all reasonable doubt.

The justification was tendered by the Appellant in response to explanation sought by the learned Single Judge vide order detailing out the steps being taken by the Appellant as Convenor of the NRC without any loss of time in compliance of ex-parte orders of which disobedience was alleged in the given facts & circumstances of the instant case and taking note of the explanation furnished, it cannot be said that, there was any disobedience of the ex-parte orders being committed by the Appellant, of which cognizance was taken by the Single Judge vide order and that too without affording opportunity of hearing recording a finding of the alleged contempt being committed against the appellant for punishment and there is no reason of declining unqualified & unconditional apology tendered by the Appellant.

The Explanation to Section 12 of the Act, makes it clear that, an apology tendered by a contemnor should not be rejected merely on the ground that, it is qualified or conditional so long it is made bonafide. From the detailed explanation which has been tendered by the Appellant, there appears nothing on record to suggest that, the unqualified and unconditional apology tendered by the Appellant as reflected from his explanation was actuated by reasons that are not bonafide and deserves acceptance in the given facts & circumstances. Judgment of the Single Judge in the given facts & circumstances is not sustainable in law and is set aside. Appeal allowed.


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