The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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In a case of suo motu Rule of Contempt the entire burden lies with the Court who issue it. Therefore, the burdensome people can utilize the discretion at times which cannot be interfered with by the others. The initial cause of action is wilful disobedience as well as transgression of the executives in the judicial business in the name of law and order situation. Question of civil and criminal contempt is so mixed up with each other that one cannot be separated from other. Therefore, either they cannot protect the interest of the judiciary or they are not able to protect or both. I am not unmindful about the source of power of the Court given under the Constitution particularly under Article 215 of the Constitution of India and Section 14 of the Contempt of Court Act read with various Sections, Rules and Appendix. However, the Constitutional authorities have inherent power to uphold the dignity and majesty of the Court of law. The line between Civil and Criminal Contempt is very hazy. Whether it is civil contempt or criminal contempt or whether it is a public interest litigation or ordinary writ is only the input but not the output. The output is to give appropriate relief in the circumstances. There is no embargo upon the Court to mould the relief in a proper manner. The power to take notice of contemptuous conduct suo motu is not limited to cases of contempt in the face of the Court. The rules of natural justice applies where contempt is committed in the face of the Court. Article 19 of the Constitution is very clear to the extent of rights and reasonable restrictions. Court is very much concerned about judicial restraint but in many cases either the Supreme Court or High Courts are forced to take certain steps to streamline the situation for one reason or other. Judiciary is made for maintaining discipline of law. My reading is that in this issue all the members of the Legislature, executives and judiciary are mentally united to bring back the previous glory of the State. The betterment of the city and the State is the paramount consideration for all. The judiciary cannot be treated as step son on this issue. When the members of the highest judiciary of the State, in attending the Court are affected by some unruly people or hooligans in front of the administrative agency Court cannot be silent spectator. In my view the judiciary should be protected and respected in all manners to maintain the discipline of the society. Judicial pronouncements are to be respected. If wrongly criticized it will be spitting up by one towards the sky under which he or she is standing. No one can criticize the cause unless he or she is ill motivated. The entire scenario prescribes necessity of calling upon the police personnel for explanation.

Today, pursuant to the order of this Court, Mr M.K. Singh, the DC (deputy commissioner of police) (traffic) and other police personnel of the Traffic Department particularly one Mr Saroj Roychowdhury, Inspector, O.C. (Officer-in-Charge), Traffic Guard are present before this Court. They are examined. Deposition are quoted hereunder:

“Mr Mritunjoy Kumar Singh

To Court:

1. Are you aware that this Court has issued a Suo Motu Contempt Rule against you and your subordinate officers'/ Yes, My Lord.

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