Allahabad HC: Contempt Should Not be filed Just to Harass a Person; Cost Imposed

A contempt petition was filed by the Co-Operative Federation Ltd. before the Allahabad High Court. it was stated that the order dated 20.08.2019 passed by the Division Bench of Allahabad High Court has not been complied with.

Allahabad High Court has imposed a Cost of Rs. 25000/- on Managing Director U.P. Co-operative Federation Ltd,to be paid personally. 

The order dated 20.08.2019 was passed in the case Ratan Kumar Jaiswal vs State of U.P.. Allahabad High Court had asked the petitioner (respondent in Contempt Petition) to deposit the sum of Rs.29,55,862/ with the U.P. Co-operative Federation Ltd as he was not able to supply them custom made rice.

The petitioner had requested the Court to fix some instalments for him to pay the amount. The Court dismissed this request, and he was asked to get to approach Managing Director U.P. Co-operative Federation Ltd for fixation of instalments.

Co-Operative Federation Ltd. filed a Contempt Petition alleging that the order mentioned above has not been complied with by the Petitioner.

Observations of the Court

Hon’ble Justice Vivek Agarwal of Allahabad High Court  first examined the definition of ‘civil contempt’ which goes as willful disobedience of any judgment, order, writ or other process of a court or willful breach of an undertaking given to the Court. 

Allahabad High Court observed that the petitioner was unable to show any ingredient that is mentioned in the definition of ‘civil contempt’ and that they were unable to prove that there was any wilful breach on the part of the respondent. 

It was further observed that the instant contempt petition was filed without any application of mind, and the motive was to harass the respondent (Petitioner in Writ Petition).

Decision of the Court

The Allahabad High Court dismissed the contempt petition filed by Co-Operative Federation Ltd., and the Court directed that a cost of Rs. 25,000/- should be paid personally by the Managing Director, U.P. Co-operative Federation Ltd. because he should have understood the provisions of the contempt of Courts Act before filing the petition. 

Further the Allahabad High Court stated that in case the Managing Director acted on the advice of his counsel, then he is free to take appropriate action against the counsel.

Case Details:-

Title: Co-Operative Federation Ltd. vs Ratan Kumar Jaiswal

Case No. Contempt Application (Civil) No. – 2858 of 2020

Date of Order: 5.10.2020 

Coram: Hon’ble Justice Vivek Agarwal

Counsel for Applicant :- Ram Gopal Tripathi 

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