|Aniruddha Bose J, Deepak Gupta J
|Contempt of Courts Act
|contempt of court
|May 4, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
|May 9, 2020 (Date of publication)
|Click here to download the file in pdf format
|Contempt of Court by Advocates: There is not an iota of remorse or any semblance of apology on behalf of the contemnors. In view of the scurrilous and scandalous allegations levelled against the judges of this Court and no remorse being shown by any of the contemnors we are of the considered view that they cannot be let off leniently. It is obvious that this is a concerted effort to virtually hold the Judiciary to ransom. All three contemnors are sentenced to undergo simple imprisonment for a period of 3 months each with a fine of Rs. 2000
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
INTERIM APPLICATION NOS. 48502, 48483, 48482 & 48484 OF 2020
SUO MOTU CONTEMPT PETITION(CRIMINAL)NO. 2 OF 2019
RE : VIJAY KURLE & ORS. Contemnor (s)
O R D E R
Interim Application No.48502 of 2020
This is an application filed by Contemnor No.3-Nilesh Ojha for
recusal of one of (Deepak Gupta, J.). The only ground taken is that
the Bench is in a hurry to decide the matter. The main Contempt
Petition was heard at length and disposed of on 27.04.2020. After
the judgment was pronounced, the case was fixed on 01.05.2020 for
hearing the contemnors on sentence. The contemnors filed
applications for recall of the judgment and, therefore, the matter
was listed today. One of us (Deepak Gupta, J.) is to demit office
on 06.05.2020 and, therefore, the matter had to be heard and we see
no ground for one of us to recuse. The application is accordingly
Interim Application No. 48483 of 2020
This is an application for adjournment. We find no reason to
adjourn the matter. The application is rejected.
Interim Application Nos. 48480, 48482 & 48484 of 2020
At the outset we may point out that we have heard Mr. Partha
Sarkar, appearing for Respondent No.1 and Mr. Nilesh Ojha,
Respondent No.3 in person in detail for more than half-an-hour. As
far as Contemnor No.2-Rashid Khan Pathan is concerned, none
appeared for him on the last occasion. Today, Mr. Ishwari Lal S.
Aggarwal and Mr. Ghanshyam Upadhyay, advocates put appearance for
him. It would be pertinent to point out that the registry had
received a WhatsApp message from Mr. Ishwari Lal S. Aggarwal, that
around 100 advocates would appear for Respondent No.2, and he
wanted to know the limit for Video Conferencing. Later, he sent a
list of 11 advocates appearing for Respondent No.2. Proper Video
Conferencing communication was established with Mr. Ishwari Lal S.
Aggarwal but he refused to argue the matter on merits and stated
that the matter would be argued by Mr. Ghanshyam Upadhyay. Proper
Video Conferencing communication could not established with Mr.
Ghanshyam Upadhyay though he was visible, he was not audible.
Therefore, communication was established with him through WhatsApp
and he stated that there was no urgency in the matter and it should
be listed after the lockdown over the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted.
It is obvious that Contemnor No.2 in one way or the other is trying
to delay the matter.
These three applications have been filed by all the three
contemnors seeking recall of the judgment dated 27.04.2020. The
main ground taken is that our judgment is contrary to the judgment
rendered in Bal Thackrey vs. Harish Pimpalkhute and Others1 and
some other judgments. It is urged that the judgment is per
incuriam and not as per the law laid down by this Court. It is
also urged that notice could not have been issued by the Bench
comprising of Hon. R.F. Nariman and Vineet Saran, JJ., and the
matter should have been first dealt with by the Chief Justice on
the administrative side. We have in our judgment dealt with all
these contentions. A long hearing was given to the contemnors and
after hearing them the judgment was reserved on 02.03.2020. Till
27.04.2020 when the judgment was pronounced no grievance was raised
that the contemnors have not been given a proper hearing. We find
that all the grounds raised in the three recall applications are
virtually identical and in all the applications correctness of our
judgment is questioned on many grounds. No recall application can
lie on these grounds and the proper remedy for the contemnors is to
file a review petition, if so advised. We, therefore, reject all
the three recall applications as being not maintainable without
expressing any opinion on the grounds raised therein. The
contemnors if so advised, can file review petition in accordance
Mr. Nilesh Ojha prayed that he may be granted liberty to file
a writ petition. In our view no writ petition can lie to challenge
our judgment and, therefore, this prayer is rejected.
1 (2005) 1 SCC 254
As far as the application for recall is concerned, we have
heard detailed arguments by Contemnor Nos. 1 and 3 and the
application of Contemnor No.2 is virtually identical. We are
therefore dismissing of all the three applications.
Thereafter the contemnors through their counsel were asked to
argue on sentence. All of them were not willing to argue on
sentence on the ground that according to them our judgment was per
incuriam and they had a right to challenge the same.
There is not an iota of remorse or any semblance of apology on
behalf of the contemnors. Since they have not argued on sentence,
we have to decide the sentence without assistance of the
contemnors. In view of the scurrilous and scandalous allegations
levelled against the judges of this Court and no remorse being
shown by any of the contemnors we are of the considered view that
they cannot be let off leniently. We have also held in our
judgment that the complaints were sent by the contemnors with a
view to intimidate the Judges who were yet to hear Shri Nedumpara
on the question of punishment, so that no action against Shri
Nedumpara is taken. Therefore, it is obvious that this is a
concerted effort to virtually hold the Judiciary to ransom.
We, therefore, sentence all the three contemnors namely Vijay
Kurle, Nilesh Ojha and Rashid Khan Pathan, to undergo simple
imprisonment for a period of 3 months each with a fine of Rs.
2000/-. In default of payment of fine, each of the defaulting
contemnors shall undergo further simple imprisonment for a period
of 15 days.
Keeping in view the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown
conditions we direct that this sentence shall come into force after
16 weeks from today when the contemnors should surrender before the
Secretary General of this Court to undergo the imprisonment.
Otherwise, warrants for their arrest shall be issued.
Suo Motu Contempt Petition (Criminal) No.2 of 2019 is disposed
of in the aforesaid terms. Pending application(s), if any, shall
stand disposed of.
MAY 04, 2020
ITEM NO.1 Virtual Court 3 SECTION XVII
S U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I A
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
SMC (Crl.) No(s). 2/2019
RE : VIJAY KURLE & ORS. Petitioner(s)
([MR. SIDHARTH LUTHRA, SR. ADV.(AC) MOB. NO. 9810010966][FOR
HEARING THE CONTEMNORS ON THE ISSUE OF SENTENCE] )
Date : 04-05-2020 This petition was called on for hearing today.
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE DEEPAK GUPTA
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE ANIRUDDHA BOSE
By Courts Motion, AOR
For the appearing parties:
Mr. Sidharth Luthra, Sr.Adv.(A.C.)
Mr. Partha Sarkar,Adv.(for R.1)
Mr. Vijay Kurle, (R.1)(In person)
Mr. Ghanshyam Upadhyay,Adv.(for R.2)
Mr. Ishwarilal S Aggarwal,Adv.
Mr. Nilesh C Ojha, (R.3)(In person)
Mr. Mobin Akhtar,Adv.
Mr. Pritam Biswas,Adv.
Mr. Nitin Saluja,Adv.
UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following
O R D E R
Applications for recall are rejected.
Suo Motu Contempt Petition is disposed of.
(SUMAN WADHWA) (DIPTI KHURANA)
AR-cum-PS COURT MASTER (NSH)
Signed order is placed on the file.