Is review or recall of Order dismissing Contempt on Merits Maintainable? Allahabad HC

The Allahabad High Court at Lucknow has held that the Court has no power to review or recall the order dismissing the contempt petition on merits. 

An application for recall was filed seeking recall of the order dated 20.01.2020 passed in Contempt Petition No.1213 of 2019 in re: Sudhir Kumar Srivastava vs. Alok Kumar Mukherjee, by which the contempt petition was dismissed. The said application was filed by the counsel for the applicant duly supported by an affidavit of one Sri Shanti Sewak, describing himself to be the Clerk of the counsel for the applicant.

Sri Gaurav Mehrotra, counsel for the Respondent raised a preliminary objection as to the maintainability of the Recall application. He submitted that in view of the Judgment of Supreme Court and Allahabad High Court in following cases, the recall or review application is not maintainable against an order dismissing contempt petition on merits:

  1. Delhi Administration vs. Gurdip Singh Uban and others – (2000) 7 SCC 296,
  2. Contempt Petition No.1591 of 2000 in re: Sharwan Kumar vs. Harminder Raj Singh (IAS)
  3. State vs. Baldev Raj – 1991 SCC OnLine All 1070,

Hon’ble Justice Abdul Moin observed:

Strangely, the averments of paragraph 6 of the affidavit have been sworn by the Clerk on the basis of information derived from the learned counsel for the applicant. What is strange is that the order dated 20.01.2020 was dictated in the open Court and no demur or protest was raised by the learned counsel for the applicant at the time of dictation of the said order that allegedly wrong submissions were being recorded and now in an affidavit sworn by the Clerk of the learned counsel for the applicant the said plea is being taken !

After referring to the Judgments mentioned above, the Court held that review or an appeal is a statutory Remedy and there is no power under the Act of 1971 conferring any power of review and thus no such power can be exercised by the Court.

In view of the above the court dismissed the recall application for above mentioned reasons.

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