C.S. Karnan, J. -
(1.)THE short facts of the case are as follows: -
The petitioner submits that he has filed a writ petition in W.P. No. 7330 of 1985, before this Court to issue writ of certiorari, calling for records relating to G.O. Ms. No. 469, Housing and Urban Development Department, dated 13.09.1985 of the first respondent herein and quash the said notification in so far as it relates to the acquisition of lands in Sitharavuthanpalayam Village, Dharapuram of his lands comprised in Sitharavuthanpalayam Village, Dharapuram Taluk comprised in S. No. 386/2A, 386/2B of an extent of 2.25 acres and 0.93 hectares in that village. The above writ petition was admitted and stay of further proceedings was also granted by this Court. The petitioner further submits that in the meanwhile, before the writ petition in W.P. No. 7330 of 1985 came on final disposal, the Government of Tamil Nadu has been granting exemption from acquisition to several adjacent landowners similarly placed. His counsel brought the above fact to the kind notice of this Court and submitted that certain adjacent lands have been withdrawn from the acquisition and that his lands may also be considered for similar exemption. Such exemption by the Government could not be granted even then, to the petitioner, as the writ petition was pending in this Court. The petitioner further submits that when the above writ petition in W.P. No. 7330 of 1985 came up before this Court on 11.02.1994 along with another writ petition in W.P. No. 8583 of 1985, this Court was pleased to pass the following observation: -
"The petitioner is directed to approach the Government for exemption of his land in the S. No. 386/2A and 386/2B of an extent of 2.25 acres and 0.93 hectares in Sitharavuthanpalayam Village, Dharapuram Taluk, Periyar District and consequent withdrawal/cancellation of the notification. If such an application was filed by the petitioner, the Government shall consider the same and pass appropriate orders on them keeping in mind, the exemption already granted to other adjacent landholders as evidenced by the letters, referred to in the order."
(2.)THE petitioner additionally added that consequent to the above order passed by this Court, permitting him to make the application, he submitted the application to the authorities concerned, viz., the Chief Engineer and Administrative Officer, Erode Housing Unit, N.H.B. Shopping Complex, Erode on 22.04.1994, to which he received the reply dated 29.04.1994 stating that the said acquisition of land is not necessary at all and to that effect, "the recommendation has been forwarded" to the approval of the Government, the first respondent herein. The third respondent sent communication made in his proceedings No. 2/1612/80, dated 29.04.1994 stating that the land is not required for Tamil Nadu Housing Board and to that effect made recommendations to the Government and awaiting for approval from the Government of Tamil Nadu. After receipt of the said communication, the petitioner has been waiting from the Government, but no orders have been received. The petitioner further submits that the Tamil Nadu Housing Board, who has been asked to send its recommendations with regard to exclusion of the lands in S. Nos. 386/2A and 386/2B at Chithravuthampalayam Village, Dharapuam Taluk, Periyar District has also sent its report to the Government recommending for dropping the acquisition of the entire lands in Chithravuthampalayam Village, Dharapuram Taluk including lands covered in his writ petition. When the Government processed the said application, the first respondent herein forwarded the communication on 12.04.1995 stating that the second respondent also recommended for exclusion of his lands from the land acquisition proceedings.
The petitioner further submits that when the above recommendations was not considered by the first respondent, the petitioner approached this Court and filed writ petition in W.P. No. 3230 of 1999 praying for to issue of a writ of mandamus, directing the first respondent to consider the recommendations of the third respondent dated 29.04.1994 and pass order of approval as recommended by the third respondent. The above writ petition in W.P. No. 3230 of 1999 came up for final disposal on 09.03.1999 and this Court was pleased to pass the following order: -
" I directed the standing counsel for the Housing Board to ascertain the stage of the representation filed by the petitioner. Today, he represented that even though the Housing Board has sent their recommendation, the matter is pending before the first respondent. Hence, the first respondent is directed to consider the representation of the petitioner for the release of the land from the acquisition proceedings and pass suitable orders within four weeks from the date of receipt of production of the copy of this order. For the convenience purpose, the petitioner is directed to furnish a copy of his representation made earlier to the Government along with the copy of this order. The writ petitioner was disposed of in the above terms No costs."
Pursuant to the order stated above, the petitioner, in obedience to the direction of this court, sent all relevant papers to the first respondent herein with a request to consider the matter in the light of the direction of this Court and pass the favourable orders exempting the lands of the petitioner from the acquisition proceedings. The said letter was acknowledged by the first respondent on 17.03.1999 by registered post with acknowledgment due.
(3.)THE petitioner further submits that even though more than three months have elapsed from the date of the order, the petitioner was not able to get the necessary order from the first respondent and hence he once again addressed a letter to the first respondent herein dated 16.06.1999 requesting him again to pass the order and to release the said lands from the acquisition proceedings and to enable the petitioner to take possession of the lands at an early date. The said letter was acknowledged by the first respondent on 17.06.1999 by Registered Post with Acknowledgment Due. He further submits that nearly two months have elapsed and in spite of it, the first respondent has neither sent any letter nor seems to have complied with the orders of this Court dated 09.03.1999 as stated above. The petitioner further submits that from the above facts and circumstances as stated above, it becomes very clear that the respondent seems to have scant regard and respect for the order of this Court and seems to have ignored the order in spite of his repeated requests made to him. The petitioner further submits that by the order dated 09.03.1999, this Court was pleased to pass the order directing the first respondent to consider the representation of the petitioner for the release of the land from the acquisition proceedings and pass suitable orders within four weeks from the date of receipt of production of the copy of this order. As stated above, nothing has happened and first respondent seems not to have cared for the order of this Court. Hence, he submits that he was forced to file the petition for contempt against the respondents. The petitioner further submits that even the undue delay in carrying out the orders of this Court amounts to contempt as laid down in, AIR 1969 SC 189 (193). Here, in the proceedings, the first respondent has not cared for the order passed by this Court at all and it amounts to willful disobedience of the order under the provisions of Section 2(b) of the Contempt of Courts Act. Obviously the first respondent is fully aware of the order of this Court and well aware of the consequence and implication of the Court's order and hence, he submits that he should be considered to have virtually ignored the order and consequently his deliberate silence in spite of his various reminders to him, is willful disobedience and deliberate disregard of the order dated 09.03.1999 in W.P. No. 3230 of 1999.