Recently, a 35 year old property dealer and his unidentified accomplices have been booked for allegedly demolishing a portion of a property in Pinjore despite being stayed by a local court. The court ordered to maintain the status quo.
In this case, one man name Rajesh Kumar Sarin, resident of sector 7 Panchkula, purchased 4 biswa land falling in a plot in Manakpur village, kalka, in 1990 and its actual possession was given to him by one Ram kishan. Another man name Anil kumar arya, has been alleging that he purchased 15 biswa of the total land brought by the former in 2011. Sarin stated that his land is adjoining with accused and on this basis, Arya has been threatening him of grabbing his property with an intent to forcibly compel him to sell it.
Eventually, their dispute dragged down to court and therein the local court directed party to maintain status quo with regard to the possession over the suit property. Since after that order, sarin was enjoying the disputed property inter alia hired a person to guard and look after the disputed property. On November 27, 2019, the plaintiff received a call from his servant that accused Arya with eight to ten men forcibly intrude the disputed property with JCB machine and demolish its considerable portion.
The complainant Sarin alleges that the accused has illegaly demolished a portion of his house attributing monetary injury of around 10 lakh. He stated that the accused has intentionally and willfully disobeyed the court order. He also accused police of acting negligently and carelessly. He further added that police hesitated to file FIR as well after investigating the spot. Complainant than approached Haryana director general of police and in pursuant to his order police went to re-investigate and Lodge an FIR. There after a FIR was registered under section 148( rioting,armed with deadly weapon). 149(every member of unlawful assembly) 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees or upwards) and 447(criminal trespass) of the Indian penal code at Pinjore police station.
Now lets discuss what is contempt of court? Contempt means disobedience or disrespect of court order. There are two types of contempt of court.
- Civil contempt of court
- Criminal contempt of court
As per section 2(b) contempt of court act 1971 civil contempt means disobedience to any Judgement, decree, direction, order, writ or other process of a court or willful breach of an undertaking given to a court. SC in H Puninder v K.K. Sethi (1998) 8 SCC 640, observed that in absence of stay of decree or order in an appeal or revision to higher judiciary, order must be complied with, provided subject some order on later stage, otherwise it is open for court to proceed further on merit of the contempt case. However, supreme court in J&K v Mohd. Yakubkhan (1992) 4 SCC 167, has observed that where a stay application has been promptly filed by responded against whom order has been passed and the same is pending for disposal the court shouldn’t proceed in the contempt case unless and until they stay vacation application has been decided.
Where any beneficial order has been procured on the account of any undertaking then breach of terms of such undertaking would also amount to contempt of court. However, in order to initiate the contempt of court it must be proved that the disobedience must be willful, intentional and delibrate.
Criminal Contempt of court
According to section 2(c) contempt of court act 1971, criminal contempt of court means publication (whether by word, spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise) of any matter or the doing of any other act whatsoever which:
- Scandalizes or tends to scandalize , or lower or tends to lower the authority of any court;
- Prejudice or interfere or tends to interfere with due course of judicial proceeding
- interfere or tends to interfere with, or obstruct the administration of justice in any other manner.
In JR Parashar v Prashant bhushan (2001) 6 SCC 735, court observed that holding dharna or strike against judicial order is not a contempt of court per se.
Section 12, provides that the person found guilty of contempt may be punished with simple imprisonment upto 6 months, or fine upto two thousand rupees.
And where any company is found guilty of contempt of court then the director, Manager, secretary or such other officer who may be guilty may be committed to punishment by detention in civil court.
The Period of limitation for contempt of court is one year.
Hence, in the instant case, court may take cognizance under contempt of court as well besides the offence for which the accused has been book for under FIR.
Rest for case specific advice, you can contact top/best/expert District Court Lawyers Advocates of Chandigarh Panchkula Mohali related to your case.
This post is written by Priyatam Bhardwaj. For more info, dial 99888-17966.