JAYESH M. GANDHI Vs. YOGENDRA N. THAKKAR
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Jayesh M. Gandhi
Yogendra N. Thakkar
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Anoop V. Mohta, J. -
(1.) Heard finally by consent.
(2.) The Appellants have challenged order dated 24th April, 2007 passed in Contempt Petition No. 01 of 2007 whereby the learned single Judge of this Court, after considering the affidavits and other material on record, has ultimately recorded as under :
"... ... ... There defence is that the petitioners were extending additional facility to the employees which according to them was not necessary. Now, additional facility to be provided to the employees can also be merely office equipment. In any case, neither in the affidavit in reply nor in the endorsement on the voucher, it is the case of the respondent Nos. 1 and 2 that they have refused to sign because the petitioners were purchasing internet cards which was not office equipment. Thus, the defence raised by the respondents in my opinion, is clearly an afterthought. The intention of the respondent Nos. 1 and 2 in not signing the cheque was clearly to disobey the order made by the Court and harass the petitioners. It appears from the averments in the petition that previously also the respondent Nos. 1 and 2 have refused to sign the cheque and therefore, contempt petition was required to be filed. In my opinion, the facts disclosed on record clearly show that the respondent Nos. 1 and 2 have wilfully disobeyed consent order made by this Court so far as the aspect of the punishment is concerned, the respondent Nos. 1 and 2 have tendered unconditional apology. It is also stated by them that the cheques subsequently issued by the petitioners are all signed by them. The learned counsel appearing for petitioners also accepted this. In my opinion, therefore, imposing fine on respondent Nos. 1 and 2 will meet the ends of justice. "
(3.) In the background of the Appeal, as per the Appellants the events so occurred are as noted under :
(i) Appellant Nos. 1 and 2 and respondent Nos. 1, 2 and 4 are Chartered Accountants and at present carry on their Profession in the Firm name and style of N. M. Raiji & Co., as Partners thereof. Respondent No. 3 and Respondent No. 5 were partners and have retired. In or about December, 2004, Respondent Nos. 1 to 4 (present Appellant Nos. 1 & 2 and Respondent Nos. 3 & 4 herein) had filed petition no. 543 of 2004 under Section 9 of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (for short "Arbitration Act "). On 8.9.2005, petition was disposed off by way of Consent terms.
(ii) Respondent Nos.1 & 2 herein purchased from Reliance Communication Infrastructure Ltd. 5 Internet Card (Data) for 5 Laptops belonging to the firm for a sum of Rs. 10,945/-. Respondent Nos. 1 & 2 herein prepared a payment Voucher for a sum of Rs. 10, 945/- and a cheque bearing No. 768413 was drawn on Bank of Baroda, Personal Banking Branch. Appellant No. 1 by his writing on the Voucher inquired as to the purpose of Purchasing internet cards. On 18.10.2006, Respondent No. 1 herein, called upon the Appellants to sign the cheque. Some doubts were raised.
(iii) On 14.12.2006, Respondent Nos. 1 & 2 herein filed Contempt Petition being Contempt Petition No. 1 of 2006. The parties had filed reply and rejoinder. On 24.04.2007, the impugned order was passed. Therefore, the present Appeal.;
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