News Updates[Contempt For Anonymous Calls To HC Judge] ‘It Would Amount To Compromising With Dignity Of The Institution’, Gujarat HC Refuses To Accept Apology [Read Order] Sparsh Upadhyay6 Sep 2020 7:52 AMShare This – xThe Gujarat High Court on Monday (31st August) refused to accept the apology tendered by the alleged contemnors who had called and sent SMS to a High Court Judge (Justice Bela M. Trivedi) from an unknown number, in connection to an anticipatory bail application listed before her.The incident occurred on June 22, on the date of listing of the anticipatory bail application in question.The bench…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Gujarat High Court on Monday (31st August) refused to accept the apology tendered by the alleged contemnors who had called and sent SMS to a High Court Judge (Justice Bela M. Trivedi) from an unknown number, in connection to an anticipatory bail application listed before her.The incident occurred on June 22, on the date of listing of the anticipatory bail application in question.The bench of Justice Sonia Gokani and Justice N. V. Anjaria in its order observed,”The alleged contemnors first committed their acts which has a tendency to interfere with the course of administration. Those can be said to be the acts and actions contemptuous in nature. It was only subsequently when this Court issued Suo Motu notices that they responded, finding no escape route, with tendering of apology. Thus, their apologies inspire no confidence.”Background of the CaseOn June 22/23, Justice Bela M Trivedi had ordered the Superintendent of Police to get the statements of two individuals who were identified in connection to the phone call, during a preliminary inquiry held by the Registrar (IT).Noting that “nobody can directly or indirectly try to approach the Court or to influence the Court, in a way try to pollute the stream of justice,” the court had ordered a further inquiry into the matter.Accordingly, the Superintendent of Police, Anand could trace this person who is respondent no.2 (alleged contemnor no.2) in the present matter. He introduced himself as Alpesh R. Patel, residing at Village Jitodia near Anand.While answering to the probe whether the call in question was made by him to the High Court Judge, he agreed that the said call was made at the instance of Mr. Vijay Shah –respondent /contemnor no.1 and his wife.Contempt Proceedings and the Apology tendered therebyConsequently, a suo motu contempt proceeding was initiated under Article 215 of the Constitution of India read with Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 where this Court issued a notice under Section 17 of the Contempt of Courts Act to the Respondents/ alleged contemnor Mr. Vijay A. Shah and Mr. Alpesh R. Patel, as per the Contempt of Courts Rules (Gujarat High Court Rules), 1984.When the conduct of both the alleged respondent no.1 and 2 were considered, it was noticed that they both had tendered the apology which they insisted to be unconditional and unqualified and at the first given opportunity.So far as alleged respondent no.1 was concerned, so as to explain the role of respondent no.2, he had given an explanation and defended himself.Whereas respondent no.2 had been asked to explain by learned Single Judge before it issued a notice of contempt, and in that affidavit-in-reply filed on the directions of the Court, he had attempted to explain as to why there was an attempt on his part to contact the learned Judge of this Court in the pending criminal proceedings.Respondent no.2 had sought the pardon for having involved himself directly or indirectly in the act attempting to criminal contempt.So far as respondent no.1 was concerned, he emphasized that through his friend, he had met respondent no.2 who had a good connection with the police department and even in the past, he has helped several people in finding support from the police.So, it was through one Mr. Rajesh Solanki that meeting was arranged and he was conveyed that other co-accused have been released and he would try to put these facts and persuade the police authority to adopt a lenient view. He said that he was unaware as to from where he procured the number of learned Judge. It was on his own volition that he did so.Whereas according to alleged contemnor no.2, he had been given those details by respondent no.1 and he had been also ensured that after once the work is done, he would be aptly rewarded.In this context, the court said,”It is quite apparent from diametrically opposite stands taken by both of them that either of them has not stated the correct facts and one of them is presenting blatant lies. This even at the stage when both the respondent seek apologies, one of them has chosen not to approach the court with clean hands and that also is one very valid aspect not to treat this apology as bona fide.” (emphasis supplied)Court’s observationThe Court, after hearing the parties, their counsels and the Amicus Curiae (Senior Advocate Mr. Shalin Mehta) in the matter concluded,”The apology, as may be tendered by the parties, the alleged Contemnors, shall need to be regarded by the Court, where it is also to regard as to whether the apology tendered is at the first point of time without attempting to justify the actions and creating the defence or is it being used as an escape route.The Court further observed,”The Court also needs to regard as to whether the contempt is full of contrition and whether the same is in a case which has been committed the first time. The law is also clear that it is not necessary for the Court to accept such an apology, even if found to be unconditional and unqualified when the parameter of genuineness is not found satisfying.”While referring to Section 12 of the Contempt of Court Act, the court said that what is the requirement of the provision is that the apology which is either qualified or conditional made by the alleged Contemnors shall also be not discarded if the same in the opinion of the court is made bona fide.It is the discretion of the Court whether to accept the same or not and that discretion is required to be exercised judiciously and the accused can be discharged.The court further observed,”This being an extremely gross case where there is a direct attempt to contact the Presiding Judge of this court with a clear design to obtain order in favour of the respondent no.1 by camouflage and all possible efforts have been made to interfere with the administration of justice, even if the apology is termed as a qualified and unconditional, accepting the same would amount to compromising with the dignity of the institution.”Apart from many celebrated Judgments, the Court also relied on the decision rendered in case of Vishram Singh Raghubanshi v. State of Uttar Pradesh [(2011) 7 SCC 776] whereby it was reiterated that not necessarily, apology even if unconditional and unqualified needs acceptance. Apart from being bonafide, if the conduct if is serious which has caused damage to the dignity of the institution, the same need not be accepted.The court was of the view that not only it appears clearly from the affidavit where the attempt is made to defend the action of the alleged respondent no.1 but prima facie, it appears that with an intent to get the order in his favour, he had hired alleged Contemnor no.2 who in his opinion was having all resources and was having more contact and he made arrangement in his meeting to get the number of the Hon’ble JudgeThe bench was of the view that it is a very serious case and, in a time, where many litigants harbour a notion to win over and manoeuvre anything and everything by adopting even extra-legal means and whose only goal is the end result which they desire, regardless of the means adopted, “the Court is of the clear opinion that acceptance of apology would vindicate such notion that one can get away with any outrageous conduct by merely tendering an apology.”The bench also observed that it is not a case where innocently there is a reference or request for seeking pardon. It is also not a case where either of the respondents was not aware that with what object they were pursuing desired goal.In this context, the court said,”It appears largely a design to procure liberty by an ill design and unpalatable means of contacting the sitting Judge of this court right on the day when the matter is scheduled to get an order by hook or crook and the means adopted, as can be noticed, prima facie are such which would shake the edifice, if permitted to go scot-free.”The Court further said,”This is an institution which is revered by the citizens for its impartiality and a higher standard of the dispensation of justice which is also its hallmarks and therefore, any such attack would warrant its zealous safeguard.”Lastly, the court was not persuaded, in the totality of facts and circumstances, to accept such apology so tendered. Resultantly, the request of acceptance of the apology was not acceded to. The matter was directed to proceed further.However, a request was made by the Learned senior counsel to grant reasonable time to put on record the defence and also continue the apology on record to be accepted at an appropriate time. Acceding to the request, the matter was directed to be listed on board on 21.09.2020.Case Details:Case Title: Suo Motu v. Vijay Arvindbhai Shah & 1 Other(S)Case No.: Criminal Misc. Application No. 9027 of 2020Quorum: Justice Sonia Gokani and Justice N. V. AnjariaClick Here To Download Order[Read Order] Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Story
Tag Archives: 宁波龙品茶论坛
Several states are loosening their coronavirus restrictions on restaurants and other businesses because of improved infection and hospitalization numbers but are moving cautiously, in part because of the more contagious variant taking hold. While the easing could cause case rates to rise, health experts say it can work if done in a measured way and if the public remains vigilant. The COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. has climbed past 425,000, with the number of dead running at close to all-time highs at nearly 3,350 a day on average. But newly confirmed cases have dropped over the past two weeks.