HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
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KAMLESH SHARMA, J. -
(1.) This Contempt Petition was received from Sh.A.C. Thalwal, Sub Judge-cum-Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (1), Paonta Sahib District Sirmaur, complaining that respondent, R.S. Gupta, has committed criminal contempt of his Court by refusing to accept the stay order and commenting to the Bailiff that "the officials of the Court accept bribe of Rs. 10 / - and keep running after the people", in the presence of 40 or 50 people. The stay order was issued on 22/01/1990 in a Civil suit titled Mehar Singh v. Mandir Thakur Dawara Dei Jee Sahiba, Paonta Sahib, through Commissioner (Deputy Commissioner) Sirmaur, of its Prabandhak Committee restraining the defendant from auctioning the suit land till further orders. The respondent, who was then posted as Sub- Divisional Magistrate, Paonta Sahib, was holding the auction on the spot.
(2.) When the present petition came up for orders before this Corut on 4/06/1990, notice to show cause was issued to the respondent that why proceedings for having committed contempt of Court be not initiated against him, the respondent filed his reply-affidavit dated 11-7-1990 denying the allegation that he had uttered the incriminating words attributed to him in the petition. He has admitted that he was holding auction as Sub-Divisional Officer (Civil) and as one of the members of the Committee along with the other members of the Committee and the copy of the stay order was shown to him. According to him, since stay order was not addressed to him but to the Commissioner (Deputy Commissioner, Sirmaur), he requested the Bailiff to deliver the same to the proper authority. Any how, the respondent stopped further proceedings of auction on his coming to know of the stay order.
(3.) On finding that the respondent had disputed the questions of facts in his reply- affidavit this Court vide its order dated 10/08/1990, sent copy of the reply-affidavit to Sub-Judge-cum-Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (I), Paonta Sahib with the direction that a rejoinder from the Bailiff concerned be filed through Sh. M.C. Mandhotra who was appointed amicus curiae in the case by the Court. After affidavit-in-rejoinder was filed by the Bailiff, this Corut vide its order dated 14-11-1990 thought it necessary to record the evidence and directed the Bailiff to submit a list of witnesses required to be examined in support of the reference through the court of Sub Judge-cum-Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (I), Paonta Sahib. On receipt of list of witnesses, this Court ordered summoning of witnesses named in the list and also directed the Bailiff, Jasmer Singh, and the Sub Judge-cum-Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (I), Paonta Sahib, Sh. A. C. Thalwal, to be present, on the date to be fixed for evidence, for recording their statements. The respondent was also asked to be present in person. Records of the Civil suit in which the Bailiff made the original report was also summoned. On 20-3-1991, statements of S/Sh. A. C. Thalwal, Jasmer Singh and Kabul Singh were recorded. The other two witnesses, S/ Sh. Harjlit Singh; and Amolak Singh were present but they were given up by Sh. M.C. Mandhotra, Advocate. It was ordered that the case be listed for recording respondent's evidence. Thereafter, on 15/05/1991, this Court decided to follow the procedure of a warrant case and the evidence already recorded was considered as preliminary evidence in view of the previous orders dated 10/08/1990 and 14/11/1990 that since questions of facts stood disputed, evidence be recorded. The witnesses S/Sh. Gurdev Singh, Raj Nand and Rupa Nand, present on behalf of the respondent, were discharged. Thereafter, arguments were heard to decide whether to proceed further with the case or not.;
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