MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF DELHI Vs. RAJINDER MOHAN
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF DELHI
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(1.)This appeal was listed along with F.A.O. (O.S.) No. 20 of 1980, and arises from the same proceedings, namely, the interim injunction granted in Suit No. 1103 of 1977. The facts of the case have been set out at some length in the judgment of the learned Single Judge deciding the petition under Order 39, Rule 2A of the Code of Civil Procedure read with Section 12 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, whereby Shri Khem Chand, Director of Enquiries, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, was held guilty of Contempt of Court and sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 3,000.00 .
(2.)Shortly stated, the learned Single Judge (Prithvi Raj J.) vacated the ex-parte injunction by a judgment dated 23rd May, 1978. This judgment was the same which was under appeal in F.A.O. (O.S.) No. 20 of 1978, before a Division Bench, which has been listed along with this case and has now become infructuous. On the same date, I.A. No. 2096/78 was filed praying that the operation of the order vacating the injunction be stayed. This application was heard after notice to the counsel for the respondents on 24th May, 1978, and was opposed. But, the Court passed the stay order so as to give the plaintiff an opportunity to appeal to the Division Bench. According to the case at the contempt stage, a number of persons came to the residence of the petitioner on 25th May, 1978, at 10-30 in the morning along with eight truck loads of police personnel. Thil party wished to demolish the building in question, i.e., the alleged unauthorised construction. According to the petitioner, these persons were informed that the order had been stayed and, therefore, the original injunction was in force and it would amount to Contempt of Court if the property was demolished. However, the respondents refused to restrain their hands and commenced demolition activities. The contempt application wag listed before Prithvi Raj J., on 25th May, 1978, and notice was issued to the counsel for the Municipal Corporation for 26th May, 1978, and a Commissioner was also appointed. The Commissioner had some difficulty in obtaining the record, but eventually did get the same.
(3.)In resisting the application for contempt, the main affidavit was that of Shri Khem Chand) Director of Enquiries, Municipal Corporation, who stated that the deponent had no knowledge of the order passed suspend- ing the operation of the vacation of the injunction and believed on the basis of the original order vacating the injunction that they were free to remove and demolish the unauthorised construction. The deponent also stated that the plainliffhad said that he had got a stay order, but was unable to produce any copy of that order. The deponent also contacted the Law Office of the Municipal Corporation, but was told by Shri Oberoi, the Law Assistant that he was not aware of any such stay order. The other respondents had filed similar affidavits.
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