COURT ON ITS OWN MOTION Vs. BAKSHI SITA RAM
HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
COURT ON ITS OWN MOTION
Bakshi Sita Ram
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KAMLESH SHARMA,J. -
(1.) WHAT made this Court to issue notice of criminal contempt to respondents, Bakshi Sita Ram, Advocate, and Adolphus Solomon is clear from the order dated 31.8.82. The relevant portion of the order is :-
"We, however, find that allegations of Adolphus Solomon that the SDM performed his judicial functions maliciously and refused to open the Church with mala fide intention in order to favour the opposite party prima facie amount to criminal contempt of Court. We also find that Bakshi Sita Ram, by signing this petition containing these allegations and repeating the same in the court before us, has prima facie committed criminal contempt of court. We, therefore, issue notice to both, that is, Mr. Adolphus Solomon as well as Bakshi Sita Ram, Advocate, to show cause why they should not be punished for having committed criminal contempt of Court."
(2.) THE words "maliciously", "with malafide intention in order to favour the opposite party" were used by Adoplhus Solomon in his complaint to this Court which was registered as Contempt Petition (Crl.) No. 5 of 1982 and wherein it was alleged that Sh. T.D. Negi, the then Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Executive), Ani. District Kullu, had disobeyed the orders of Sessions Judge, Shimla. Sh. T.D. Negi, as Executive Magistrate, had ordered the closure and attachment of Christa Mukti Church Anglican at Ani in proceedings under Section 145 Cr.P.C. The Sessions Judge, Shimla had set aside the order of attachment and had directed the Magistrate to hold an enquiry under sub-Section (4) of Section 145 Cr.P.C. The grievance of Adolphus Solomon was that the Executive Magistrate instead of complying with the order of the Sessions Judge in respect of releasing the Church from attachment, sent the case back to the court of Sessions Judge, thereby committing gross contempt of the superior Court.
Perusal of the Contempt Petition (Crl.) No. 5 of 1982 shows that the word "maliciously" has been used for passing the order of attachment and closing of the Church by the Executive Magistrate. The words "mala fide intention in order to favour the other party" have been used while complaining that the Magistrate disobeyed the orders of the Sessions Judge. Therefore, if the alleged contemptuous words are read in the context these are used, it is clear that the intention of Sh. Adolphus Solomon and Bakshi Sita Ram, Advocate, was not to make any defamatory attack on the Executive Magistrate to lower down his authority. These words were used, also not with the intention to interfere with due course of justice or administration of law. Their intention, as it appears from their replies to the show cause notice, was to emphasise that the order of attachment and closure passed by the Executive Magistrate and further his action not to comply with the order of Sessions Judge were without any probable cause. Their statement that the Executive Magistrate refused to obey the orders of the Sessions Judge in order to favour the opposite party was their inference from facts and circumstances on record and was not made to make any allegations against the Executive Magistrate to malign him.
(3.) NO doubt, the purpose of proceedings in contempt is to keep the stream of justice clean and unpolluted and maintain the confidence of the public at large in the fair and impartial administration of justice by the Courts of law. The purity of the stream of justice gets sullied and the traction of justice, if anybody is allowed to cast aspersions on the impartiality and fair dispensation of justice by a Court. But certainly not, the contempt jurisdiction is to be used to curb the freedom of litigant and his Advocate to fairly and temperately criticise in good faith the judgment or order of any Court or to ventilate their grievance. No doubt, the litigant and his counsel are expected to use sober and restrained language and if they do not do it, is a question of propriety and certainly not of contempt of Court.;
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