Decided on January 17,2002



- (1.)Heard Mr. K. V. Viswanathan, learned counsel appearing for the appellant. None appeared for the respondents despite service of notice.
(2.)In this appeal filed under section 19 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 the contemnor has assailed the judgment/order of the Allahabad High Court holding him guilty of contempt and sentencing him to pay Rs. 1,000. 00as fine.
(3.)The factual backdrop of the case, necessary for appreciating the contentions raised, may be stated thus: the appellant, who was the chairman of the Municipal Board of Moradabad during the relevant period, received the notice issued by the district magistrate for convening a meeting of the municipal board on 4.6.1990 to discuss the no-confidence motion against the appellant. He filed writ petition no. 15963 of 1990 seeking quashing of the said notice. Therein, he prayed for a direction to the respondents not to hold the meeting on the scheduled date. The matter relating to the prayer for interim order was heard on 1/06/1990 and order was reserved. The meeting of the board was held on 4.6.1990 as schedule and the no-confidence motion was carried by majority and a resolution was passed removing the appellant from the office of the chairmanship of the board. Thereafter, he filed another case, civil miscellaneous writ petition no. 15962/90, challenging no-confidence motion passed in the meeting held on 4.6.1990. By an interim order passed on 6.6.1990 in that case, the resolution in which the no-confidence motion was passed was ordered to be suspended. Thereafter, on 8.6.1990 an interim order was passed in the writ petition no. 15963/90 filed earlier, which reads as follows:
"After having considered the arguments raised by the learned counsel for the parties, I am of the opinion that until further orders of the court, in case the motion of no-confidence has been passed against the petitioner, the same shall not be given effect to. However, it is ordered that the petitioner may continue to function as chairman, in case the motion of no-confidence has been passed but he shall not sanction or pass orders regarding financial matters exceeding Rs. 1,000. 00. "it was clearly provided in the order that the appellant may continue to function as chairman in case the motion of no-confidence has been passed but he shall not sanction or pass order regarding financial matters exceeding Rs. 1,000. 00. This order remained operative till 18.7.1990 when on the application filed by the appellant stating that the stay order has been rendered infructuous and the same may be vacated, the court passed the order dismissing the stay petition as infructuous and vacated the stay order. Between 9.6.1990 and 17.7.1990 when the aforementioned order directing the appellant not to sanction or pass orders regarding financial matters exceeding Rs. 1,000. 00 remained operative, the appellant signed/counter-signed several cheques each for a sum of more than rupees one thousand; the total amount of such cheques was about thirty four lacs of rupees. Stating the facts as above, an application was filed in the High Court for initiating a proceeding for civil contempt against the appellant alleging that he had wilfully and deliberately violated the order passed by the court on 8.6.1990 in C. M. W. P. No. 15963/90.

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