Only Wilful And Deliberate Disobedience To Court's Order Amounts To Contempt: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court noted that, before punishing a person for failure to comply with a decision of the Court, the Court must not only be satisfied with the disobedience of any judgment, decree, order, writ or other procedure, but must also be satisfied that such disobedience was intentional and intentional.
The bench, consisting of the judges AM Khanwilkar and BR Gavai, thus observed the closure of the contempt petition filed in 2008 as a result of a family dispute between the father on the one hand and his two sons on the other. In the petition of contempt, it was alleged that the party had approached the Company Law Board in its attempt to override an order passed by the Apex Court in an earlier petition of contempt and had obtained an interim order. The contempt petitioner claimed that the invocation of the jurisdiction of the CLB and the conduct of the said proceedings by the CLB itself amounted to contempt.
The bench noted that a person does not commit contempt of the court if, during the pendency of certain proceedings, he has recourse to other legal proceedings open to him, even though the latter proceedings have resulted in a loss to the other party.
The bench, then, explained the scope of contempt proceedings and observed that only wilful disobedience of any judgment, decree, direction, order, writ or other process of the Court would amount to contempt. The court added that the contempt proceedings are quasi-criminal in nature and the standard of proof required is in the same manner as in the other criminal cases.
The bench then proceeded to close the motion of contempt, noting that a case of wilful, deliberate and intentional disobedience of any of the instructions given by the Court or acting in breach of the undertaking given to the Court has not been made.