Dismissal of Contempt of Court proceedings against respondent official by Trial Court as also by Appellate Court. Legal points and not factual aspects are to be discussed in revision. Factual side was already decided by trial Court as also by Appellate Court. Concurrent findings of both Courts, below indicated that they had not proposed to initiate contempt of Court proceedings against respondent official under provisions of Contempt of Court Act, 1976. Grounds agitated before High Court were almost the same which were argued before appellate Court- No legal flaw had been pointed out by petitioner who had also failed to point out any illegality in the orders of Courts, below. Concurrent findings of facts, arrived at by Courts below cannot be interfered with by High Court in revisional jurisdiction except on glaring irregularity if any. PLJ 2000 Qta. 126 = PLD 2000 Qta. 40.

 

Party to proceedings could not. while an application for interim relief was bona fidely pending, blatantly so act as to pre-empt its lawful disposal because .such act, in given set of circumstances, could amount to doing things calculated "to interfere with or obstruct or interrupt or prejudice process of law or due course of a Judicial proceedings" and. thus, fell within mischief of S, 3 of Contempt of Court Act. 1976.  P.L.J.1999 Kar. 263 = 1998 CLC 1812

 4. Punishment

Whoever commits contempt of Court or abets the commission of contempt of Court may be punished with simple imprison­ment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both;.

           

         Provided that, on being satisfied that the accused, whether after defending himself or without offering any defence, has purged himself of the contempt of Court, the Court may discharge the accused or remit his sentence.

 

Court Decisions

            Dismissal of Contempt of Court proceedings against respondent official by Trial Court as also by Appellate Court. Legal points and not factual aspects are to be discussed in revision. Factual side was already decided by trial Court as also by Appellate Court. Concurrent findings of both Courts, below indicated that they had not proposed to initiate contempt of Court proceedings against respondent official under provisions of Contempt of Court Act, 1976. Grounds agitated before High Court were almost the same which were argued before appellate Court- No legal flaw had been pointed out by petitioner who had also failed to point out any illegality in the orders of Courts, below. Concurrent findings of facts, arrived at by Courts below cannot be interfered with by High Court in revisional jurisdiction except on glaring irregularity if any. PLJ 2000 Qta. 126 = PLD 2000 Qta.

5. Jurisdiction

(1) A High Court or the Supreme Court, on its own information or on information laid before it by any person, may take cognizance of an alleged commission of contempt of the Court.

(2)        The Supreme Court shall have the payer to take cognizance of any contempt of itself or of any Judge of the Supreme Court alleged to have been committed anywhere and a High Court shall have the power to take cognizance of any contempt of itself or of any Judge thereof or of any other High Court or of any Judge thereof alleged to have been committed within the territorial limits of its jurisdiction.

         (3)        A High Court shall exercise the same jurisdiction in respect of contempts of Courts subordinate to it or to any other High Court as it exercises in respect of contempts of itself.

         (4)        Nothing contained herein shall affect the power of any Court to punish any offence of contempt under the Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860).

 6. Penalty

              Whoever contravenes or attempts to contravene any of the provision of this provisions of this act, or of any rules made or notification issued thereunder, shall, without prejudice to any confiscation or penalty to which he may be liable under the provisions of the customs Act, 1969 as applied by section 4, be punishable with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees and, upon any subsequent conviction, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both.   

 7. Procedure for Supreme Court and High Court

(1) Whenever it appears to the Supreme Court or a High Court that there is sufficient ground for believing that a person has committed contempt of Court and that it is necessary in the interest of effective administration of justice to proceed against him, it shall make an order in writing to that effect setting forth the substance of the charge against the accused, and, unless he is present in Court, shall require by means of an appropriate process that he appears or be brought before it to answer the charge.

(2)        The Court shall inform the accused of the ground on which he is charged with contempt of Court and call upon him to show cause why he should not be punished.

(3)        The Court, after holding such inquiry and taking such evidence as it deems necessary or is produced by the accused in his own defence and after hearing the accused and such other person as it deems fit, shall give a decision in the case.

Provided that, in any such proceedings before the Supreme Court or a High Court, any finding given in its own proceedings by the Supreme Judicial Council about it the nature of an averment made before it, that is relevant to the requirements of clause (vi) of the proviso to section 3, shall be conclusive evidence of the nature of such averment.

(4)        If contempt of Court is committed in the view or presence of the Court, the Court may cause the offender to be detained in custody and, at any time before the rising of the Court on the same day, may proceed against him in the manner provided for in the preceding subsections.

Explanation.‑Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (x) of the proviso to section 3, in any proceeding under this subsection, it shall not be open to the offender to take up a plea of truth of the statement for making which he is proceeded against.

            (5)        If any case referred to in subsection (4) cannot be finally disposed of on the same day, the Court shall order the release of the offender from custody either on bail or on his own bond.

 

Court Decisions

Notices served orally– Procedure adopted was thus in accord with law. P L D 1993 Lah. 658

 

Covenants contained in the petition, remarks and the statements made during the proceedings by accused were admitted by him to be contemptuous- Accused was thus guilty of having committed the grossest contempt of Court. P L D 1993 Lah. 658

 

            Accused, an advocate of 16 years standing had committed gravest type of contempt which had no parallel in the history of the High Court- Contemner, therefore, deserved no leniency and he was convicted to undergo simple imprisonment for six months and a fine of Rs.5,000 on each count- High Court, however, observed that if at any subsequent stage the contemner purged himself, as provided by SA, proviso of the Contempt of Court Act, 1976, and approached the High Court for the said purpose, the request would be considered on merits.P L D 1993 Lah. 658

 8. Transfer of proceedings for reasons personal to the Judge

(1) Where, in a case in which a Judge has made an order under subsection (1) of section 7, not being a case referred to in subsection (4) of that section, the alleged contempt of Court involves scandalization personal to such Judge and is not scandalization of the Court as a whole or of all the Judges of the Court, the Judge shall forward the record of the case and such comments, if any, as he deems fit to make, to the Chief Justice of the Court.

 

         (2) On receipt of the papers mentioned in subsection (1), the Chief Justice, after inviting, if he deems fit, further comments, if any, from the Judge first taking cognizance of the offence and making such inquiry in such manner as he deems fit, shall pass orders specifying which one of the following shall hear the case‑

(a)       Another Judge, which, if the Chief Justice so orders, may be the Chief Justice ;

(b)      A Bench of Judges set up by the Chief Justice, of which the Judge first taking cognizance of the offence is not a member ;

 and the case shall then be heard accordingly.

           

         (3) If, at any stage of a csse in which the Chief Justice has passed an order under clause (a) of subsection (1), the Chief Justice is of opinion that, in the interests of justice, the case shall be transferred to another Judge, he may pass an order accordingly ; and the case shall then be heard by such other Judge.

           

         (4) When, in pursuance of an order under subsection (2) the Judge first taking cognizance of the case is not hearing the case,‑—

(a)        The other Judge or, as the case may be, the Bench of Judges hearing the case may invite or receive any further comments from the Judge first taking cognizance of the offence and shall call and hear any witnesses whom such Judge desires to be examined ; and

(b)       All comments furnished by the Judge first taking cognizance of the offence shall be treated as evidence in the case and such Judge shall not be required to appear to give evidence.

         (5) When in a case the first cognizance of the offence has been taken by the Chief Justice, the functions of the Chief Justice under subsections (1), (2) and (3) shall be performed by a Bench of Judges composed of the two next most senior Judges available.

 9. Proceedings in camera and prohibition of publication of proceedings

In case of proceedings for transfer of a hearing under section 8 or of any proceedings in which truth is pleaded as a defence in terms of clause (vi) of the proviso to section 3, the Court, if it deems fit in the public interest, may hear the case or any part thereof in camera and prohibit the publication of the proceedings of the case or any part thereof.

 10. Appeal and limitation for appeal

(I) From an original order passed by the High Court under this Act an appeal shall lie, if the order is passed by a Single Judge, to a Division Bench, and if it is passed by a Bench of two or more Judges, to the Supreme Court.

         (2)        An appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from an order passed by a Division Bench of a High Court in appeal against an order passed by a Single Judge.

         (3)        An appeal under subsection (1) or subsection (2) shall be filed‑

(a)       in the case of an appeal to a Bench of the High Court, within thirty days ; and

(b)       in the case of an appeal to the Supreme Court, within sixty days, from the date of the order appealed against.

11. Power to make rules

The Supreme Court or, as the case may be, a High Court, may make rules, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, providing for any matter relating to its procedure.

12. Repeal

The Contempt of Courts Act, 1926 (XII of 1926) is hereby repealed.

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