Decided on March 12,1984

Nandlal Sharma Appellant


G.M.LODHA, J. - (1.)IN this contempt, a preliminary objection has been raised by Shri S. B. Mathur; appearing for the non petitioners that since the present one is a case under Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, (hereinafter referred to as' the Contempt of Courts Act'), no cognizance can be taken by this Court unless either, proceedings are initiated by the High Court itself, on its own motion or on a motion made by the learned Advocate Ceneral or, any other person with the consent in writing of the Advocate General.
(2.)SHRI Mathur has referred us to Section 15(1) of the Contempt of courts Act, which reads as under:
15. Cognizance of criminal contempt in other cases; (1) In the case of a criminal contempt, other than a contempt referred to in Section 14, the Supreme Court or the High Court may take action on its own motion or on a motion made by: (a) the Advocate General, or (b) any other person, with the consent in writing of the Advocate' General, or (c) in relation to the High Court for the Union territory of Delhi, such law officer as the Central Government may, by notification in the official Gazette specify in this behalf, or any other person, with the consent in writing of such law officer.

Shri Nandlal Sharma, the Petitioner, present in person, confronted with the above, submitted that it is true that the present one is criminal contempt but, Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act is ultra -vires and it is not necessary to obtain the consent of the Advocate General nor it is necessary to comply with the requirement of Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act.

(3.)IN support of his contention, Shri Sharma, placed reliance upon the decision of the Supreme Court in C.K. Daflary v. O.P. Gupta 0065/1971 : 1971CriLJ844 wherein there Lordships while dealing with the objection that the petitioners have no locus standi, held that the Court can issue a notice suo moto, and further, the advocates of the Court, including the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, are perfectly entitled to bring to the notice of the Court any contempt of court. In that case, the respondent referred to Lord Shaweross Committee's recommendation that proceedings should be instituted only if the Attorney General in his discretion considers them necessary.' Then, there Lordships observed that this is only a recommendation made in the light of circumstances prevailing in England but, it is not law. Their Lordships further mentioned that the Attorney General in England has quite a different position than the Attorney General of India or the Advocates General of the States. And, the Attorney General in England is a member of the Cabinet, and as far as they are aware, unlike the Advocate General in India he does not have to receive instructions from Government whether to move a contempt petition or not.

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