Civil Procedure Code (CPC)

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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The Hon’ble High Court and the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India are given the rights to investigate and punish for contempt of court by the Constitution as well as the Contempt of Court Act, 1971.
  • The state and the UPSC are bound to follow the directions provided by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.
  • The case of Neeraj Sinha was heard by the bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice AS Bopanna.

WHAT IS CONTEMPT OF COURT

Contempt of court can be civil contempt and criminal contempt. Contempt of court in law means that deliberately or willfully not obeying the court of law or its judgement/order.

Article 129 of the Constitution of India declares that the Supreme Court is the court of record and it has all the rights to punish for the contempt of itself.

Article 142 (2) of the Constitution of India declares that the Supreme Court has the power to investigate and punish for any contempt of itself.

Power to punish for the contempt of court is given to the High Courts and the Supreme Court both by the Constitution and the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.

FACTS OF THE CASE: RAJESH KUMAR V. SUKHDEV SINGH

  • The respondents of this case had deliberately and willfully disobeyed the judgements/order of the Supreme Court.
  • Respondent 1 is the State of Jharkhand and Respondent 2 is the Union Public Service Commission.
  • As the newly elected Government took charge in the State of Jharkhand, they removed Mr. K N Chaubey from the post of DGP of the State before the completion of his tenure of two years.
  • The State appointed Mr. MV Rao as the acting DGP on a temporary basis.
  • The State requested the UPSC to prepare a panel for the appointment of the regular DGP but the UPSC kept rejecting the request and declined to do so.
  • The State then again willfully disobeyed the judgments/order of the Hon’ble Court and appointed Mr. Neeraj Sinha as the acting DGP of the State on a temporary basis.

PROCEEDINGS OF THE CASE

  • The case is filed by Mr. Rajesh Kumar through the Advocate Pranav Sachdeva.
  • The case was heard by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice AS Bopanna.
  • The Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Hrishikesh Roy issued notices to the State of Jharkhand and the UPSC.
  • In the previous judgement/order of the Supreme Court, there were some directions given by the Hon’ble Court in the Prakash Singh case, which were not followed by the State of Jharkhand and the UPSC in this case. Following are the directions given by the Hon’ble Court:
  • The DGP of the State shall be appointed by the State Government on the basis of the seniority, experience, records, rank by the UPSC and the length of service.
  • Prior notice should be given to the concerned authority before retiring. Most of the states have adopted the practice of appointing new DGP after the previous one gets retired and no prior notice is sent to the authority.
  • After the appointment of the DGP, he needs to serve for a minimum tenure of two years.
  • A DGP shall not be appointed on temporary basis as an acting DGP.
  • The State needs to request the UPSC to prepare a panel for the selection of appointment of the regular DGP of the State.
  • The UPSC is bound to accept the request of the State and prepare a panel to appoint the DGP.
  • According to the above given directions by the Hon’ble Court, every rule has been disobeyed and not followed by the State and the UPSC.
  • The State of Jharkhand and the UPSC deliberately, willfully and grossly disobeyed the judgement/order of the Hon’ble Court. This causes them to commit contempt of court.

CASE LAW

Ummenthala Mutha Reddy and Others v. D. Krishna Bhaskar and Others

  • The petitioners in this case are small farmers whose lands were acquired by the respondents near the reservoir.
  • They filed a writ petition in the Telangana High Court under the Right to fair compensation, mentioned in the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013. The writ petition stated that the acquisition is unlawful for various reasons and that the acquisition must be stopped under the grounds of insufficiency of compensation and lack of following the legal procedure for acquisition and the benefits were also not granted as per the Act.
  • The Telangana High Court held that the petitioners shall have the possession of the land until the reliefs and rehabilitation benefits have been paid to them.
  • The respondents deliberately and willfully disobeyed the judgement/order of the High Court and did not respect the restraint order given by the High Court.
  • The respondents acquired the land in spite of the High Court’s restraint order and the order to not damage the crops of the farmers.
  • The petitioners informed to the court about the disobedience of the respondents and the fact that the petitioners were threatened by the police officers employed by the respondents.
  • The Telangana High Court, after the examination of facts, held all the three respondents guilty of contempt of court.
  • The High Court allowed the contempt case and ordered all the three respondents with simple imprisonment of three months along with fine of Rs 2000/-. The High Court ordered the respondents to pay Rs 10,000/- to each of the petitioners within four weeks.

I hope you find the article informative. Based upon your reading of the article, I request you to answer the questions below. If you know the answer, please comment the same. Thank you!

Questions

  1. In the Neeraj Sinha case the above written directions by the Supreme Court were given in which case?
  2. Why the writ petition was filed in the ‘Ummenthala Mutha Reddy and Others v. D. Krishna Bhaskar and Others’ case?

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