STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH Vs. SRI RAGHUNANDAN LAL GUPTA
HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
SRI RAGHUNANDAN LAL GUPTA
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Ramabhadran, J. -
(1.) This is a petition under Section 3 of the Contempt of Courts Act, wherein I am requested to take action under that Act, against the respondent in respect of certain passages in his speech allegedly made at a public meeting held at the Bara Chowk of Nahan Bazaar on 22-9-1953. The facts giving rise to this petition may be stated briefly. On 6-5-1953, three persons were murdered at village Sanog, ilaqa Pajhota, P. S. Pachhad, district Nahan. As a result of police investigation, one Devnu was sent up by the police charged under Section 302, I. P. C. There was another case under Sections 194 and 201, I. P. C., against one Chunchu Ram and seven others. The latter challan was filed in the Court of Sri K. R. Chandel, Magistrate first class, Nahan (exercising Section 30 powers) on 21-9-1953, while the former case was filed in his Court three days later. It is alleged that on 22-91953, during the course of public meeting held at Bara Chowk of Nahan Bazaar, respondent, inter alia, uttered the following words:
" 'Raja ke raj men insaf ki tawaqua ho sakti thi ab bilkul nahen. Pajhota qatal case men police ne cha adami Kanait party ke giriftar keya aur jhuti sahadat kalamband karne ki koshisis ki gai magar kamyabi ne hui. Ab jin ke qatal huai unke hi kuch adami giriftar ker liai hain. Aurtaun ki bezzati ker ke marpeet ker aur dhamkakar jis tareh unke bayan kalamband police karwa rahi hai oh sarmnak hai'." It is urged in the petition that by uttering these words the respondent wanted to prejudice the mind of the Court and of the general public against the prosecution and in favour of the accused persons and as such he is guilty of contempt.
(2.) Notice was issued to the respondent, who filed a reply contesting the petition on various grounds. 'Inter alia', he contended (a) the Government Advocate was not competent to file the petition; (b) the petition was filed after considerable delay and therefore should be thrown out. (c) The respondent did not utter the words
attributed to him. On the other hand, the words uttered by him were " 'hal hi ka waqa hai ke yek advocate sahib ne kaha ke Himachal men judiciary ka standard riyasat ki judiciary ke standard se bahut low ho gaya hai. Dukh ki bat yeh hai ke hamare M.L.A. sahib Th. Tapendar Singhji jo wahan maujod the, jinohne yeh lafaz apne kano se sune aur jo hamare Himachal ki Legislature ke Legal Adviser khayal kiye jate hain, ne koi tardid nahen ki yeh kahana ke judiciary ka standard gir gaya durust nahen Adalaton ke fasalon ka daromadar gawahan per hai jaise gawah pesh honge, adalaton ne unki sahadat ko chanbinker ke fasale dene hain, isliye litigant parties ka faraz hai ke oh insaf ki garaz ke liye sachchi sahadaten adalaton men pesh keren, Pajhota qatal durghatna men police ne pahile kuch adami Kanaiton ke giriftar keye lagbhag ek mah oh hawalat men rahe, unke khilaf hamari police sahadat paida kerne men kamyab ne ho sakin unko chor diya gaya, ab ek Devnu Mian ko giriftar kiya uske khilaf kuch sahadaton ke bayan zer dafa 164 zabta fauzdari sahib magistrate darza doyam Sarahan se kalamband karaye do tin roz se hamari police ek Mt. Murto ke bayan zer dafa 164 zabta fauzdari kalamband karane ki garaz se uske piche thi, usko tang kiya gaya daraya dhamkaya gaya aaz police uske bayan kalamband karane men kamyab ho gai zer dafa 164 zabta fauzdari, police ke istareh bayan kalamband karana, khilaf qanun hai zb police istareh ki khilaf qanun karrawaiyan kere, to adalaton ka ismen kya dosh ho sakta hai'." The respondent urged he had no intention to affect the administration of justice, or to prejudice the Pajhota case one way or the other. The respondent claimed he acted 'bona fide' and without improper motive. In the end, the respondent tendered an unqualified apology and threw himself at the mercy of this Court.
(3.) The following points arise for determination in this case-
(1) Whether this petition is competent? (2) Whether the respondent did utter the words attributed to him? (3) If so, is he guilty of contempt? (4) In case issue No. 3 is found against him, what action should be taken against him?;
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