Decided on December 20,1994



BARUAH, J. - (1.)This appeal under Section 19(1) (a) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 read with Rule 12 of the Contempt of Courts (Gauhati High Court) Rules, 1977 is directed against the judgment and order dated 8-8-94 passed by learned Single Judge in Civil Original Petition (Contempt) No. 275/93 convicting the appellant and another under the Contempt of Courts Act and sentencing them to undergo one month's imprisonment in addition to a fine of Rs. 2,000/- each and in default to undergo further imprisonment for a period of two weeks each. Besides this, the learned Single Judge also directed the appellant and another to pay the cost of the contempt petition which was assessed at Rs. 2,000/-.
(2.)The fat of the case for the purpose of this appeal may be stated as follows:- The respondent in this appeal filed a writ petition (Civil Rule No. 795/92) challenging the order dated 24-5-91 issued by the Executive Engineer, Nalbari Division (Irrigation), Nalbari whereby the respondent was reverted to the post of work charge Khalasi in place of regular Khalasi. After filing of the writ petition, usual notices were issued and received by the then Secretary, Irrigation and also the Chief Engineer. Thereafter, letters were written to the Registrar (Judicial) requesting him to furnish the details of the case to facilitate the Secretary and the Chief Engineer to take appropriate action. Later on, the Secretary received a letter from the Government Advocate Shri B. L. Singh asking for parawise comments. However, no details were received by them. Correspondence went on. Meanwhile the Executive Engineer, Nalbari in compliance with the interim order dated 20-4-92 passed by this Court, by his letter dated 28-5-92 asked the respondent (writ petitioner) to receive her arrear monthly salary. The respondent (writ petitioner), however, refused to receive the same. In spite of repeated reminders, the appellant did not receive any further information regarding the case. The appellant took over charge of Chief Engineer (Irrigation) on 1-7-93 and on 10-9-93 the appellant received the copy of the order dated 1-6-93 passed by this Court in the aforesaid Civil Rule No. 795/92. On receipt of this, the appellant immediately wrote to the Executive Engineer to inform the Government for taking necessary action. He also by his letter dated 18-10-93 requested the Registry to extend the time. He also requested the Executive Engineer to send a copy of the order of the writ petition to enable him to know about the case. The appellant not being the appointing authority asked the appointing authority i.e. the Executive Engineer to take steps for compliance of the order passed by this Court. Neither the appellant nor the Secretary, Irrigation was informed about the initial appointment of the respondent (writ petitioner) nor her reversion to the post of work charge khalari and, as such, the action of the Executive Engineer was not at all known to the appellant. Besided, the appellant was never informed about the writ petition and the direction of this Court till the receipt of the notice from this Court. The appellant filed an affidavit-in-opposition in the contempt proceeding explaining the matter in detail and stating that he was fully conscious about the status and dignity of this Court and, as such, he had no intention to violate the order of this Court. He further stated that though he was not the authority to implement the order of this Court he felt that it was his duty to see that the direction given by this Court was complied with within the time and, accordingly, he asked the Executive Engineer to take necessary steps in the matter. After considering all the aspects by judgment and order dated 8-8-94 passed in COP (C) No. 275/93 the learned Single Judge found the appellant guilty and convicted him and another under the Contempt of Courts Act read with Article 215 of the Constitution of India and sentenced them as aforesaid. While disposing of the contempt matter the learned Single Judge considered the affidavit-in-opposition filed by the appellant and also the provisions of law regarding contempt of Court. Being aggrieved by the judgment and order the present appeal has been filed. 2A. We heard both sides.
(3.)Mr. S. N. Bhuyan, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant submitted that the facts and circumstances of the case would indicate that the appellant had no intention to show disrespect to the Court. It would also reveal from the record that non-compliance of the direction was not because of willful disobedience.

Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.