Decided on August 31,2020



UDAY UMESH LALIT, J. - (1.)These petitions seek review of the Judgment and Order dated 09.05.2017 passed by this Court in LA. Nos.9-12 and 13-16 of 2016 in SLP (C) Nos.6828-6831 of 2016 with LA. Nos.1-4 of 2016 in and with Contempt Petition (C) Nos.421-424 of 2016 in SLP (C) Nos.6828-6831 of 2016.
(2.)The facts leading to the passing of said judgment are set out in detail therein and for the present purposes we may set out following features.
(A) In OA No.766 of 2013 filed by the special leave petitioners ('banks', for short) before DRT, Bengaluru seeking recovery of Rs.6203,35,03,879.32 (Rupees Six Thousand Two Hundred and Three Crores Thirty Five Lakhs Three Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy Nine and Paise Thirty Two only), an oral undertaking was given on 26.07.2013 by respondent Nos.1 to 3 that they would not alienate or dispose of their properties. One of the prayers made before DRT, Bengaluru was:-

"(iii) to issue a garnishee order against Respondent Nos.10 and 11 from disbursing US$ 75 million,..."

(B) When the matter reached the High Court of Karnataka, two orders were passed by the High Court on 03.09.2013 and 13.11.2013, the relevant portion of the first Order being:-

"In that view, there shall be interim order of injunction against the Respondent Nos.1 to 3 from transferring, alienating, disposing or creating third party rights in respect of movable as well as immovable properties belonging to them until further order in these petitions."

(C) Admittedly, the amount of US$ 40 million which was part of the sum of US$75 million was received in the account of respondent No.3 on 25.02.2016 and within few days, that is, on 26.02.2016 and 29.02.2016, said amount of US$ 40 million was transferred out of that account by respondent No.3.

(D) Despite repeated orders passed by this Court, no clear disclosure of his assets was made by respondent No.3, nor any details of in-flow and out-flow of said amount of US$ 40 million were disclosed by him. As a matter of fact, the existence of the concerned Bank account itself was not disclosed.

(3.)In the circumstances, on the issue whether he was guilty of contempt of court, it was submitted on behalf of respondent No.3 that in terms of the directions issued by this Court, he was required to disclose the assets as on 31.03.2016 and as such no direction issued by this Court was violated; and that the violation, if any, was of the orders passed by the High Court and, therefore, this Court ought not to proceed in contempt jurisdiction. After hearing learned counsel for the parties, respondent No.3 was found guilty of contempt of court on following two counts:-
"(a) He is guilty of disobeying the Orders passed by this Court in not disclosing full particulars of the assets as was directed by this Court.(b) He is guilty of violating the express Orders of Restraint passed by the High Court of Karnataka in the same Cause from which the present proceedings have arisen."


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