JUDICIAL OFFICER CONTEMPT OF OWN COURT
16. Contempt by judge, magistrate or other person acting judicially. ? (1) Subject to the
provisions of any law for the time being in force, a judge, magistrate or other person acting
judicially shall also be liable for contempt of his own court or of any other court in the same
manner as any other individual is liable and the provisions of this Act shall, so far as may be,
(2) Nothing in this section shall apply to any observations or remarks made by a judge, magistrate
or other person acting judicially, regarding a subordinate court in an appeal or revision pending
before such judge, magistrate or the person against the order or judgment of the subordinate
16. Contempt by judge, magistrate or other person acting judicially. ? (1) Subject to the provisions of any law for the time being in force, a judge, magistrate or other person acting judicially shall also be liable for contempt of his own court or of any other court in the same manner as any other individual is liable and the provisions of this Act shall, so far as may be, apply accordingly. (2) Nothing in this section shall apply to any observations or remarks made by a judge, magistrate or other person acting judicially, regarding a subordinate court in an appeal or revision pending before such judge, magistrate or the person against the order or judgment of the subordinate court.
https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1766453/ PARA 30-39
Contempt proceedings against Judicial Officer are maintainable. Baba Abdul Khan v. Smt. A.D. Sawant. J.M.F.C., Nagpur and other, 1994 Cir.L.J. 2836 (Bom.)
31. The jurisdiction to make an order for contempt is, per se, neither civil or criminal but is sui generis, though when a person is sought to be punished, proceedings attract principles of penal policy requiring the establishment of the ingredients of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt, which has been observed in a case of K. Adinarayana v. S. Mariyappa, 1984 Cri LJ 992 (Kant).
The civil contempt is defined under S. 2(b) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, as under :
""civil contempt" means wilful disobedience to any judgment, decree, direction, order, writ or other process of a court or wilful breach of an undertaking given to a court."
The criminal contempt is defined under sub-section (c) of S. 2 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, as under :
""criminal contempt" means the publication (whether by words, spoken or written, or by visible representations, or otherwise of any matter or the doing of any other act whatsoever which -
(i) scandalises or tends to scandalise or lowers or tends to lower the authority of, any court; or
(ii) prejudices, or interferes or tends to interfere with, the due course of any judicial proceedings; or
(iii) interferes or tends to interfere with, or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the administration of justice in any other manner."
In a case of Dulal Chandra Bhar v. Sukumar Banerjee , the Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court has observed (para 3) :
"The line between civil and criminal contempt can be broad as well as thin. Where the contempt consists in mere failure to comply with or carry out an order of a Court made for the benefits of a private party, it is plainly civil contempt and it has been said that when the party, in whose interest the order was made, moves the court for action to be taken in contempt against the contemnor with a view to enforcement of his right, the proceeding is only a form of execution. In such a case, there is no criminality in the disobedience and the contempt, such as it is, is not criminal. If however, the contemnor adds defiance of the Court to disobedience of the order and conducts himself in a manner which amounts to obstruction to or interference with the course of justice, the contempt committed by him is of a mixed character, partaking as between him and his opponent of the nature of a civil contempt and as between him and the court or the State, of the nature of a criminal contempt. In cases of this type, no clear distinction between civil or criminal contempt can be drawn and the contempt committed cannot be broadly classed as either civil or criminal contempt. There is, however, a third form of contempt which is purely criminal and which consists in conduct tending to bring the administration of justice to scorn and to interfere with the course of justice as administered by the Courts. Contempt of this class is purely criminal, because it results in an offence or a public wrong, whereas contempt consisting in disobedience of an order made for the benefit of a private individual results only in a private injury."
Mr. Dharamadhikari, the learned counsel of the contemnor No. 2 placed reliance on various cases to show the difference between the civil and criminal contempt. Those cases are as follow.
(1) The State v. Dasrath Jha .
(2) Zikar v. State, AIR 1952 Nagpur 130 : (1952 Cri LJ 749), para 6.
(3) S. S. Roy v. State .
Considering the facts of the case and principles laid down in the various cases cited supra, the question posed by Shri Dharmadhikari, the learned counsel for the contemnor No., 2, is whether any right was accrued in favour of other party and whether either of the contemnors has infringed the same ? In absence of such right, the question of committing the civil contempt does not arise. According to the learned counsel, no order was in operation in favour of the petitioners/accused. Thus, no case of criminal contempt is made out and, therefore, the question of punishment does not arise. The learned counsel placed reliance on a case of Delhi Judicial Service Association v. State of Gujarat . In this case the C.J.M. was handcuffed by the Police. The learned Counsel took me through the important portions of the judgment from paras 13 and 29. In para 13 it is observed :
"The power to take proceedings for the Contempt of Court is an inherent power of a Court of record, the Criminal Procedure Code does not apply to such proceedings. Since, the contempt proceedings are not in the nature of Criminal proceedings for an offence, the pendency of contempt proceedings merely because it may end in imposing punishment on the contemner. A contemner is not in the position of an accused, it is open to the Court to cross-examine the contemner and even if the contemner is found to be guilty of contempt, the Court may accept apology and discharge the notice of contempt, whereas tendering of apology is no defence to the trial of a criminal offence. This peculiar feature distinguishes contempt proceedings from criminal proceedings."
Further in para 29 of the judgment, Lordships of the Supreme Court referred Art. 129 of the Constitution of India and observed as under :
"Art. 129 declares the Supreme Court a Court of record and it further provides that the Supreme Court shall have all the powers of such a Court including the power to punish for contempt of itself. The expression used in Art. 129 is not restrictive instead it is extensive in nature. If the framers of the Constitution intended that the Supreme Court shall have power to punish for contempt of itself only, there was no necessity for inserting the expression "including the power to punish for contempt of itself ......"
It has been further observed in para 29 as under :-
"Art. The jurisdiction to make an order for contempt is, per se, neither civil or criminal but is sui generis, though when a person is sought to be punished, proceedings attract pr recognised the existing inherent power of a Court of record in its full plenitude including the power to punish for the contempt of inferior Courts."
The learned counsel for the contemnors made an attempt to show that as the allegations against the contemnors do not constitute a civil contempt, this Court has no jurisdiction to entertain this case and thereby to punish the contemnors. According to the learned counsel, there is nothing on record to show that the contemnors have committed any contempt. According to the contemnor No. 1, the learned trial Court has elaborately discussed and gave reasons for setting aside the order passed by her predecessor on 6-1-1993 regarding the transfer of the case to the file of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Nagpur. According to the learned counsel, the contemnor No. 1 might have committed the error in expressing her opinion. View taken by the contemnor No. 1 may be illegal. So merely expressing an erroneous view or committing an illegality will not amount to either civil or criminal contempt. No material has been brought on record to show that the order is pervers and speaks about dishonesty and even if it is so, it will not amount to a civil contempt.
32. When the proceeding is tenable under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, for civil contempt, that has been defined in sub-section (b) of Section 2 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, it refers not only the wilful disobedience of any judgment, decree, direction, order or writ or other process of Court.
What is meant by the process of Court, requires to be considered ? The kinds of contempt of process of Court has been discussed in Halsbury's Laws of England Vol. IX, para 2 on page 3, as under :
"Contempt of Court may be classified either as (1) criminal contempt, consisting of words or acts obstructing, or tending to obstruct or interfere with, the administration of justice or (2) contempt in procedure, otherwise known as civil contempt, consisting of disobedience to the judgment, orders or other process of the Court, and involving a private injury."
Para 54 deals with misconduct. Circumstances involving misconduct, civil contempt bears a two-fold character, implying as between the parties to the proceedings merely a right to exercise and a liability to submit to a form of civil execution, but as between the party in default and the state, a penal or disciplinary jurisdiction to be exercised by the court in the public interest.
In para 38 the words 'abuse of process in general' have been described as the Court has power to punish as contempt any misuse of the court's process. Thus the forging or altering of Court documents and other deceits of like are punishable as serious contempts. Similarly, deceiving the court or the court's officers by deliberately suppressing a fact, or giving false facts, may be a punishable as contempt. In certain cases where an irregularity or misuse of process amounts to an offence against justice, extending its influence beyond the parties to the action, it may be punished as a contempt.
In a case of Assistant Government Advocate v. Upendra Nath Mukerji, AIR 1931 Patna 81 : (1931 (32) Cri LJ 551), the meaning of the words 'abuse of process' has been explained as under :
"In the expression "abuse of process" in Section 561-A, "process" is a general word meaning in effect anything done by the Court."
In a case of Kameshar Prasad v. Bhikhan Narain Singh, (1893) ILR 20 Cal 609, 627, the following observations are made :
""Process" includes writs of summons, and without a writ of summons, or in our phraseology here, a summons, a suit cannot be validly instituted at all. The word "process" in its full meaning, includes summons, and in doing so, bars all suits to which the clause applies."
33. Giving conscious thought to the submissions made by the learned counsel of the petitioners and the contemnors, I have to consider whether the contemnor No. 1 has committed the contempt of Court wilfully and dishonestly. As it is rightly said, the question of contempt particularly in this case, is a mixed question of civil and criminal nature. I have perused the original record of the trial Court. There is a voluminous material placed on record which itself shows that the contemnors have committed the contempt of Court. The contemnor No. 1 had not only committed the contempt of its own court, but of the High Court also. The circumstances at the cost of repetition are again precisely enumerated below :
(1) While setting aside the order passed by her predecessor, directing to transfer the case of C.J.M., the contemnor No. 1 has taken a bold stand as she being sure of the provisions that there is no provision in the Criminal Procedure Code empowering the Judicial Magistrate, First Class to transfer the case from its file to the file of superior Court. I have already indicated in the preceding paras those specific provisions of Section 322 to 325 of Cr.P.C. which empower the Judicial Magistrate, First Class to transfer the cases from its file to the file of superior Court. The contemnor No. 1 even in her additional submissions on solemn affirmation maintained her stand that there is no provisions of transferring the cases from its file to the file of the superior Court. Considering her bold stand, there is room to say that even if she is a Judicial Officer, she is ignorant of law. It is true that sometimes the ignorance is a bliss, but not always. In the instant case, the question of ignorance does not arise as the contemnor did not express her ignorance, but she appears to be cock sure as is evident from the submissions on solemn affirmation stating that there is no such provision. It is, thus, clear that her actions are contrary to the specific provisions of law. The only inference deducible on writ large is to pass such order which will be beneficial to the contemnor No. 2, ignoring the legal provisions, seriousness of the case and public interest it being a case of broad-day robbery.
(2) Admittedly, there is no provision in Criminal Procedure Code empowering the Judicial Magistrate, First Class to review its own order. No finger has been pointed out at any provision which empowered the contemnor No. 1 to review the order passed by her predecessor transferring the case from its file to the file of Chief Judicial Magistrate.
(3) The mystery is not solved as to how the operative order has been passed on 27-7-1993 while speaking order is dated 28-7-1993. The application filed on 27-7-1993 by the accused/petitioners for supply of copy of the application and time to file the reply, was rejected by the contemnor No. 1 on 27-7-1993 itself. However, the speaking order was passed on 28-7-1993. It is not the case of the contemnor No. 1 that operative order was passed on 27th and speaking order was dictated on 28th July, 1993. If the speaking order was not passed on merits after hearing the learned counsel of the applicant, i.e. the contemnor No. 2, it is very difficult to understand the propriety of rejecting the application of the accused. This also smacks the intention of the contemnor No. 1 and also exposes the working of her mind.
(4) While passing the order of return of property, the contemnor No. 1 adjudicated that the property particularly the golden and silver ornaments will not be required for the identification. It needs no clarification that in a case of robbery, the identification of the accused and the property are the only essential aspects to be proved. Admittedly, except some currency notes of Rs. 4,840/-, no identification marks were noted on other property. Therefore, the property definitely would be required for identification, not only by the contemnor No. 2, but the others who alleged to have entrusted the property with the contemnor No. 2.
(5) Admittedly, the contemnor No. 2 has specifically contended that the property which is alleged to have been seized from the accused, is not owned by him, but he was the custodian of the same as he had received it from the customers. None of the customers came forward to claim either the currency notes or ornaments before the Court, nor anyone placed any document on record to establish their ownership.
(6) The accused/petitioners opposed the return of property in the trial Court itself even earlier to the presentation of the second application dt/- 14-12-1992. As they had opposed to the return of the property in the trial Court, this Court had issued notice to the accused. In Cri Revision Application No. 176 of 91 though they were not made parties to this proceedings. In the Special Leave Petitioner filed by the contemnor No. 2 before the Supreme Court, the accused were made parties to the petition. At the initial stage, the accused need not to disclose their defence. Since the accused/petitioner were parties in the Spl. leave petition before Supreme Court, it was incumbent on the Magistrate to afford an opportunity of being heard to them. Despite this contemnor No. 1 did not issue notices to them and passed order in their absence and consequently deprived them from hearing. The principles of natural justice demand that the party who is likely to be prejudiced, must be noticed and heard before any order is passed.
(7) The criminal case No. 284 of 1991 is under sections 420, 392 read with Section 34 of the I.P.C. In my view, Cri. Case pertaining to the property in question pending before Trial Court was itself capable to decide the matter and therefore seperate application for return of property was not registrable. In the instant case, admittedly a miscelleneous criminal application was registered as Miscelleneous criminal Case No. 188/92. To This application, the accused persons were not made parties and, therefore, by no stretch of imagination one can expect that they are aware of the facts or process regarding the return of the property at the behest of the contemnor No. 2. Another interesting aspect which I found is that before passing the final order, the contemnor No. 1 directed the concerned Senior Clerk to return the money and ornaments immediately, vide the operative part of the order dt/- 27-7-1993. Similarly, the contemnor No. 2 filed an application for grant of hamdust to effect the release of the property immediately and the contemnor No. 1, without any hesitation, acceded to the request made.
(8) As the petitioners/accused had earlier opposed the release of the property in favour of the contemnor No. 2 the natural justice demands that if the accused had asked for the time to take the copies of the order passed on 27th and 28th July, 1993, in natural course, without any (sic) at least a reasonable time could have been granted to the accused. But, the contemnor No. 1 asked for the specific provisions of the principles of natural justice.
(9) Another circumstance which depicts mens rea is the direction given to the contemnor No. 2 to give an undertaking that he would return the property to the respective claimants. Such type of order to return the property to a stranger who is not before the Court nor identified by any one having any title and interest; beyond understanding or to digest as such type of order is not seen or read in any pronouncement during my experience of about 33 years at Bar and bench. In such eventuality, if property, as directed, is returned, Court having no lien, then how the trial Court could secure the property from 70 to 80 persons as indicated in application, as none of them had executed a supratnama to Court. Adoption of such modus-operandi by the trial Court wanted to have no trial at all. Learned Magistrate contemnor No. 1 who decided matter, appear to have proceeded neglecting the observations made by this Court in Criminal Rev. Application No. 176/91 which came to be confirmed by appex Court. This in my opinion is not correct approach. Every Judicial Officer is duty bound to first peruse the orders passed by its superior Courts in the matter to be decided by it and if any specific directions, terms and conditions are incorporated, without surpassing those aspects, it should not pass any order contrary to or in defiance of those terms, directions or conditions.
(10) The First Information Report which was filed on the date of occurrence itself, shows that the theft or robbery was of Rs. 5,00,000/-, while the contemnor No. 2 demanded cash of Rs. 24,00,842/- and the ornaments worth Rs. 74,854/- to be released in his favour. Under this circumstances, the evidence and the identification of property in the Court was necessary, this aspect has been completely overlooked or deliberately ignored by the contemnor No. 1, while passing the order.
34. Under the circumstances, the conduct and attitude adopted by the contemnor No. 1 in the instant case, cannot, by any stretch of imagination, be said to be the casual, accidental or unintentional. Therefore, after giving conscious thought to the circumstances referred in the preceding paras, this Court has to draw the only indeducible inference that the contemnor No. 2 persuaded the contemnor No. 1 to return the property of which he was neither the owner nor the custodian, without any evidence placed on record. Contemnor No. 1 became the victim of the (sic), but definitely not in ignorance or is writ large. No circumstance is brought to my notice to consider or term the order as illegal or committed mistake in expressing her opinion. Every act or omission or commission on the part of the contemnor No. 1 is with dishonest intention and that too to return the property to the contemnor No. 2.
35. Courts of Justice are called as 'Temple of Justice'. Temple denotes sanctity, purity and reality. So in the Temple of Justice, these three things are observed while administring Justice. As the Temple is the holy place, so is the Court where justice is made impartially and aggrieved parties are put to happiness with dignity and sanctity. Judges are the guardians of Law and Justice. Judges have remained the moral guardians of Indian polity, preserving the high ideals of law and liberty enshrined in the constitution. In every case, Judge's conduct should be above reproach. He should be conscientious, studious, thorough, courteous, patient, punctual, just, impartial, fearless of public clamour, regardless of public praise and indifferent to private, political or partisan influences. A judge is expected to administer justice according to law and deal with his/her appointment as a public trust; he should not allow other affairs of his private interest to interfere with the prompt and proper performance of judicial duties; nor should he administer the office for the purpose of advancing his personal aims or increasing his popularity.
The judiciary, as an institution, depends on continuous public assumption that judiciary is an honest and uncorruptable institution and any allegations of corruption of dishonesty are bound to lower down the status of judiciary. Till this date, the people look up to the judges to obtain justice, this being the only institution where the guardians and trustees of the constitution and public interest are working.
In a case of State of Maharashtra v. R. A. Khan, 1993 Cri LJ 816 (Bombay High Court, Nagpur Bench) also a Chief Judicial Magistrate was involved in the proceedings under Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. Para 6 of the Judgment needs to be reproduced :
"The state of affairs as reflected are certainly disturbing. Undisputedly, the offences as disclosed in the charge-sheet was triable by the Sessions Judge. Apparently, it was beyond the jurisdiction of the Chief Judicial Magistrate to entertain the application for bail. He also made a venture to appreciate the material. Illegality which is patent, in passing the orders, is writ large. The orders in question are absolutely without any propriety. It also lacks sense of responsibility. Illegality in judicial exercise, according to us, by itself may not constitute a contempt unless it is in good faith or owing to bona fide error.
However, apart from the absence of jurisdiction, the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate released the accused persons on bail on the face of verdicts successively given by the Higher Courts. He had a conscious knowledge of those orders. This venture of the Chief Judicial Magistrate is certainly derogatory to well defined judicial responsibility. It lacks both good faith and bona fide. It is well intended deliberate and tainted with suspicion also. It tends to exhibit under disregard to the judicial authority of the Courts in high rank. From the narration of events in the reference which are not controverted the act of the respondent is explicitly well calculated with a design to undermine the authority of the Higher Court."
Shri Dharmadhikari, the learned counsel for the contemnor No. 2, referred the case of Debabrata Bandopadhyaya , which has been reproduced in the case of S. Abdul Karim v. M. K. Prakash , as under :
"A question whether there is contempt of court or not is a serious one. The court is both the accuser as well as the judge of the accusation. It behoves the court to act with as great circumspection as possible making all allowances for errors of judgment and difficulties arising from inveterate practices in courts and tribunals. It is only when a clear case of contumacious conduct not explainable otherwise, arise that the contemner must be punished. It must be realised that our system of courts often results in delay of one kind or another. The remedy for it is reform and punishment departmentally. Punishment under the law of contempt is called for when the lapse is deliberate and is in disregard of one's duty and in defiance of authority. To make the law of contempt do duty for other measures and is not to be encouraged."
In a case of the Aligarh Municipal Board v. Ekka Tonga Mazdoor Union , their Lordships observed about the punishment in a case of contempt as follows (Para 5) :
"Contempt proceeding against a person who has failed to comply with the Court's order serves a dual purpose : (1) Vindication of the public interest by punishment of contenmtuous conduct and (2) coercion to compel the contemnor to do what the law requires of him. The sentence imposed should effectuate both these purposes. To employ a subterfuge to avoid compliance of a court's order about which there could be no reasonable doubt may in certain circumstances aggravate the contempt."
36. Giving conscious thought to the facts and circumstances of the case, I am of the opinion that the trial Court, High Court and the Appex Court issued a negative mandate that unless and until the contemnor No. 2 Dilip Thankkar places the material on record to show that the property involved in the case, belongs to him or produces the person concerned before the Court who claims the property, it was not to be returned. Inspite of this specific negative mandate, the contemnor No. 1 passed the order releasing the property in favour of the contemnor No. 2 and thereby, accordingly to me, she has committed a civil contempt.
37. It is apparent as discussed above that there was not only defiance of the order passed by this Court, on the part of the contemnor No. 1, but she deliberately and dishonestly set aside the order passed by her predecessor on 6-1-1993 and ordered to release the property in favour of the contemnor No. 2 without notice and hearing the petitioner/accused who are naturally bound to be prejudiced. This Court takes a serious note of it. In a case reported in 1993 Cri LJ 816, cited supra, at the initial stage itself, without advancing arguments, the Chief Judicial Magistrate came forward before the Court and tendered an apology and, therefore, only warning was issued to him by this Court. In the instant case the contemnor No. 1 has tendered an apology. But, considering the facts and circumstances of the case as well as the conduct and attitude of the contemnor No. 1, this is not a case where apology can easily be accepted. There cannot be any rule that every contempt proceeding should be dropped as soon as an unconditional apology is tendered. The very nature of the judicial function makes Judges sympathetic and responsive. However, every thing will depend upon the facts of each case. If the contempt is of a technical type or if the contempt can be termed as not serious or grave, the court is likely to accept the apology. In other cases, mere apology would not do. So, before considering the various circumstances, the court should consider and scrutinise the nature of contempt.
Keepting the object in view, I have to consider from the facts and circumstances, whether the contempt committed by the contemnors is a technical or a minor one ? Whether it is grave or serious ? What would be its impact on the society ? All these aspects are relevant along with the various other circumstances to accept or not to accept the apology. In certain cases the court should accept apology if the matter is such where acceptance of apology would be in the interest of justice. Similarly, the Court will be failing in it's duty if necessary punishment is not awarded if the manner deserves any such punishment.
Shri Aney, the learned counsel for the contemnor No. 1, attracted my attention to the Judicial Officers' Protection Act, 1850 and submitted that in view of the provisions of this Act, no proceedings can be instituted against the contemnor No. 1 being a Judicial Officer. This Act is consisting of only one section. Section 1 reads as follows :
"Non-liability to suit of officers acting judicially, for official acts done in good faith, and of officers executing warrants and orders - No Judge, Magistrate, Justice of the Peace, Collector or other person acting judicially shall be liable to be sued in any Civil Court for any act done or ordered to be done by him in the discharge of his judicial duty, whether or not within the limits of his jurisdiction : Provided that he at the time, in good faith, believed himself to have jurisdiction to do or order the act complained of; and no officer of any Court or other person, bound to execute the lawful warrants or orders of any such Judge, Magistrate, Justice of the Peace, Collector or other person acting judicially shall be liable to be sued in any Civil Court for the execution of any warrant or order, which he would be bound to execute, if within the jurisdiction of the person issuing the same."
Mere perusal of the provisions show that there is no specific mention that the Judicial Officers are immuned from the action under Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. There is no need to mention that before the law everybody is equal. Section 16(1) of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971 is very clear that the provisions of the Act are applicable even to Judge, Magistrate, etc. The Section reads as follows :
"Subject to the provisions of any law for the time being in force, a Judge, Magistrate or other person acting judicially shall also be liable for contempt of his own court or of any other court in the same manner as any other individual is liable and the provisions of this Act shall, so far as may be, apply accordingly."
In view of this provision, according to me, the provisions of the Judicial Officers' Protection Act, 1850, are not of any help to the contemnor No. 1.
38. Considering the probabilities and the facts and circumstances of this case, according to me, it is a serious and deliberate lapse on the part of the judicial officer. If the judiciary is considered as a Temple of Justice and if the idols of the Temple are committing such type of serious lapses causing prejudice to other parties, it smacks the mens rea and dishonesty. Therefore, if this Court releases the contemnors merely issuing the warning, it will not meet the ends of justice.
The contemnor No. 2 a trade-man, probably indulging in the courier services, which is contrary to the Postal Department of Government of India. This trade has no legal sanctity or legal recognisation. However, in this case, without any material, he pursuaded a judicial officer to commit such type of contemptuous act and thereby he tarnished the image of the judiciary. Therefore, according me, he too deserve the serious punishment.
39. The learned counsel for the contemnors and the contemnors were heard on the point of punishment.
I have already held that both the contemnors have committed the contempt of this Court as well as the trial Court who passed the order on 6-1-1993 transferring the case from its file to the file of Chief Judicial Magistrate. By this wilful disobediance of the contemnors with an oblique motive to return the property to the contemnor No. 2 only, who is admittedly, not the owner of the property, prejudicing the case of the accused. According to me, both the contemnors have caused substantial damages to the Temple of Justice. However, no citizen could have to approach the Judicial Officer and no Judicial Officer be the victim or prey of some consideration or interest either in the person or the property, according to me, a simple sentence to both the contemnors till rising of the Court will be sufficient but, in addition to it, they are directed to pay a fine of Rs. 500/- on each count, i.e. a wilful disobediance of the order passed by the trial Court dt/- 6-1-1993 and the wilful disobediance of the order passed by this Court in Criminal Revision Application No. 176 of 1991. Thus, each of the contemnors has to pay Rs. 1,000/- on both the counts, within a week, in default to suffer simple imprisonment for seven days.
40. Before concluding, lastly, it is equally the duty of this Court to say few words in respect of the learned counsel who appeared and assisted this Court and made valient efforts to convince this Court the points raised by respective counsel, to enable this Court to appreciate the facts and law laid down and thereby to adjudicate the matter at my best.
41. Rule in the above term is made absolute.
42. Shri Dharmadhikari, the learned counsel for the contemnor No. 2, requested to suspend the sentence and fine. Considering the various circumstance and it being the specific case to tarnish the image of temple of justice at the hands of the contemnors, there should not be repetition of such act again either by any citizen of India or by the member of the temple of justice. I do not accept the request. Considering their attempt to tarnish the image of the idols instituted in the temple of justice. I think that the contemnors do not deserve any more lenience. Therefore, the request made by Shri Dharmadhikari, the learned counsel for the contemnor No. 2 is not accepted. Similar prayer is made by Shri Sanyal on behalf of the contemnor No. 1 and for the reasons given above. I do not accept the request of Shri Sanyal, also.
43. Rule against the contemnor No. 3 stands discharged.
44. Order accordingly.
CONTEMPT BY JUDICIAL OFFICERS