SC and HC Judgments Online at MyNation

Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

P.D. vs U.W. on 6 June, 2019

$~1

*INTHEHIGHCOURTOFDELHIATNEWDELHI
Decidedon:6thJune,2019

+CONT.CAS(C)338/2019CMAppl.18484/2019

P.D……Petitioner
Through:Mr.ProsenjeetBanerjeeMs.Meera
Menon,Advocates.

versus
U.W……Respondent
Through:Ms.JyotiTanejaMr.Nikhilesh
Kumar,Advocates.
CORAM:
HON’BLEMR.JUSTICEPRATEEKJALAN

PRATEEKJALAN,J.(ORAL)

%

1.Thepresentpetitionhasbeeninstitutedinrespectofalleged
violationsofanorderdated08.02.2019,passedbytheFamilyCourt,
DwarkainCivilSuitNo.4/2019.Thesuitwasfiledbythepetitioner(wife)
againsttherespondent(husband).Bytheaforesaidorderdated08.02.2019,
theFamilyCourtgrantedanex-parteinjunction,restrainingtherespondent
fromproceedingwithDocketNo.FM-11-422-19L,filedbeforethe
SuperiorCourtofNewJersey,ChanceryDivision,FamilyPart,Mercer
County.Thepetitionerallegesthat,contrarytotheinjunctiongranted,the
respondenthas,infact,proceededwiththesaidpetition.

2.Theprayersinthepetitionseekinitiationofcontemptproceedings,
attachmentoftherespondent’sproperty,issuanceofnon-bailablewarrants,

CONT.CAS(C)338/2019Page1of18
andrevocationofhispassport.On22.04.2019,noticewasissuedinthis
petitiononlywithrespecttothefirstoftheseprayers.Therespondenthas
filedanaffidavitinreply.

3.Ms.JyotiTaneja,learnedcounselfortherespondent,raiseda
preliminaryissueastomaintainabilityofthispetition,inviewofthefact
thatrecoursetoOrderXXXIXRule2ASectionoftheCodeofCivilProcedure,
1908(“CPC”)isavailabletothepetitioner.Thesubmissionwasresistedby
Mr.ProsenjeetBanerjee,learnedcounselforthepetitioner,whourgedthe
CourttoproceedinexerciseofpowerundertheSectionContemptofCourtsAct,
1971(“theAct”)andSectionArticle215oftheConstitutionofIndia.Extensive
argumentswereheardonthispreliminaryissueon24.05.2019,andbythis
order,Iproposetodisposeoftheobjectionsonmaintainabilityraisedby
Ms.Taneja.

4.ThepetitionerandtherespondentarebothIndiancitizens,residentin
theUnitedStatesofAmerica.TheyweremarriedinNewDelhiunderthe
SectionHinduMarriageAct,1955[“theHMA”]on12.12.2014andhaveason,
bornon23.12.2016.Bothpartieshave,towardstheendof2018,filed
matrimonialproceedingsagainsteachother.Althoughthereissome
controversyastotheexactchronologyofeventsinthisregard,itappears
thattherespondentfileddivorceproceedingsbeforetheSuperiorCourtin
NewJerseyon21.11.2018,andthepetitionerfiledproceedingsunder
Section13(1)(a)oftheHMAon11.12.2018.InJanuary,2019,the
petitioneralsofiledasuitintheFamilyCourt,Dwarka,fordeclarationand
permanentinjunction,restrainingtherespondentfromproceedingwithhis
petitioninNewJersey.Theorderdated08.02.2019referredtoabovewas
passedonthepetitioner’sapplicationunderOrderXXXIXRule12in

CONT.CAS(C)338/2019Page2of18
thatsuit.TherespondenthassincefiledanapplicationunderOrderXXXIX
Rule4oftheCPC,beforetheFamilyCourt,forvacatingtheex-parte
injunction.Thatapplicationremainspending,andisnextfixedforhearing
on17.07.2019.

5.Afterthesaidorderwaspassed,thepetitionerinformedthe
respondentofthesamebyanemaildated08.02.2019,andalsofiledacopy
oftheorderbeforetheNewJerseyCourton19.02.2019.Whilesubmitting
theordertotheNewJerseyCourt,thepetitionerexpresslystatedas
follows:-

“Thepresentlettermaynottantamounttosubmissionof
jurisdictionbythedefendantbeforethisHon‟bleCourtandthe
sameiswithoutprejudicetotherightsandcontentionofthe
defendant.”

Onthesamedate,thepetitioneralsosubmittedvariousotherdocumentsto
theNewJerseyCourt,includingacertificationregardingmethodsof
alternatedisputeresolutionandcertificationofinsurancecoverage.The
NewJerseyCourtscheduleda”CaseManagementConference”on
05.04.2019.OnedaypriortothescheduledCaseManagementConference,
thepetitionerreiteratedthattheaforesaidorderestoppedherfrom
proceedinginNewJersey,andrequestedanadjournmentoftheCase
ManagementConference.Byaresponseofthesamedate,therespondent
opposedthisrequest,contendinginteraliathat,thepetitionerhadsubmitted
tojurisdictioninNewJerseyandthattheorderoftheFamilyCourtdated
08.02.2019hadbeenobtainedbymisrepresentation.Therespondent
specificallyurgedthattheCaseManagementConferenceproceedas
scheduled,andthatthepetitionerbedirectedtoappearatthattime.

CONT.CAS(C)338/2019Page3of18

6.Inviewofthesefacts,theCaseManagementConferencedidtake
placebeforetheNewJerseyCourton05.04.2019,atwhichbothparties
werepresentandtherespondenthereinwasalsorepresentedbycounsel.A
transcriptofthesaidconferencehasbeenplacedonrecordbythe
respondent.TheNewJerseyCourtexpresslydeclinedtoruleatthatstageas
towaiverofthepetitioner’sobjectiononjurisdiction,butalsodecidedto
proceedfurtherinthematter.TheCourtappearstohaveinformedthe
petitionerthatadismissaloftheproceedingscouldbegrantedonlyupon
filingofaformalapplication.Itisundisputedthat,pursuanttotheordersof
theNewJerseyCourt,therespondent,infact,compliedwiththedirections,
includingfilingofinterrogatoriesandseekingthathearingsarescheduled.

7.Theaforesaidfactshaveledtotheinstitutionoftheseproceedings
underSections2(b)andSection10oftheAct,readwithSectionArticle215ofthe
Constitution.Althoughthepetitionerhadearlierfiledanapplicationunder
OrderXXXIXRule2A,thatwasnotpressedinviewofthepresent
contemptpetition.Mr.Banerjeehasarguedthattheundisputedconductof
therespondentinproceedingwiththedivorceproceedingsfiledintheNew
JerseyCourtisinclearanddirectcontraventionoftheinjunctiongrantedby
theFamilyCourt.

8.Ms.Tanejahasraisedthreeobjectionsatthisstagetothecontinuance
ofthecontemptpetition.Thefirstoftheseisthatviolationofanorder
passedunderOrderXXXIXRule1and2oftheCPCattractstheprovisions
ofOrderXXXIXRule2A,andproceedingscanbeinstitutedbeforethe
Courtwhichgrantedtheinjunction.Inthesecircumstances,shecontended
thatproceedingsbeforetheHighCourtunderSection10oftheActand
SectionArticle215oftheConstitutionarenotmaintainable.Second,shesubmitted

CONT.CAS(C)338/2019Page4of18
thattheex-parteordergrantedbytheFamilyCourthadbeenobtainedby
misrepresentingthatthedivorceproceedingsfiledbythepetitionerinIndia
werepriorintimetothedivorceproceedingsfiledbytherespondentin
NewJersey.Asthiswas,accordingtoher,despitetheknowledgeofthe
petitionerregardingthepriorinstitutionoftheNewJerseyproceedings,
Ms.Tanejacharacterizedtheorderdated08.02.2019asa”nullity”,having
beenobtainedbyfraud.Thethirdobjectionwasthatthefactsdidnot
discloseacontempt,astherespondenthadproceededintheNewJersey
proceedingsonlytoavoidcommittingadefaulttherein.Hisactionswere
thusborneoutofacompulsiontocomplywiththeordersanddirections
issuedbytheNewJerseyCourt,anddidnotconstituteawilful
disobedienceoftheorderoftheFamilyCourt.Inthisregard,Ms.Taneja
alsosubmittedthatthepetitionerherselfproceededintheNewJerseyCourt
andsubmittedtothatjurisdiction.

9.Mr.Banerjeehasdisputedeachoftheaforesaidsubmissions,relying
uponthefactsnarratedabove.Bothsideshavealsocitednumerous
authorities,bothintheiroralargumentsandtheirwrittensubmissions,to
whichIwillreferpresently.

10.Theprincipalquestiontobedecidedconcernsthemaintainabilityof
theproceedings.TheprovisionofSectionArticle215oftheConstitution,Section
2(b)andSection10oftheAct,andRules2Aand4ofOrderXXXIXoftheCPC,
whicharerelevantforthispurpose,arereproducedbelow:-

“SectionArticle215oftheConstitutionofIndia

215.HighCourtstobecourtsofrecord.-EveryHighCourt
shallbeacourtofrecordandshallhaveallthepowersofsuch
acourtincludingthepowertopunishforcontemptofitself”

CONT.CAS(C)338/2019Page5of18

“Section2(b)oftheSectionContemptofCourtsAct,1971

2.Definitions.-InthisAct,unlessthecontextotherwise
requires,-

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(b)”civilcontempt”meanswilfuldisobediencetoanyjudgment,
decree,direction,order,writorotherprocessofacourtor
wilfulbreachofanundertakinggiventoacourt;

xxxxxxxxxxxx”

“Section10oftheContemptofCourtsAct,1971

10.PowerofHighCourttopunishcontemptsofsubordinate
courts.–

EveryHighCourtshallhaveandexercisethesamejurisdiction,
powersandauthority,inaccordancewiththesameprocedure
andpractice,inrespectofcontemptsofcourtssubordinatetoit
asithasandexercisesinrespectofcontemptsofitself:
ProvidedthatnoHighCourtshalltakecognizanceofa
contemptallegedtohavebeencommittedinrespectofacourt
subordinatetoitwheresuchcontemptisanoffencepunishable
underSectiontheIndianPenalCode(45of1860).”

“OrderXXXIXRule2Aand4SectionoftheCodeofCivilProcedure,
1908
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2A.Consequenceofdisobedienceorbreachofinjunction-(1)
Inthecaseofdisobedienceofanyinjunctiongrantedorother
ordermadeunderrule1orrule2orbreachofanyoftheterms
onwhichtheinjunctionwasgrantedortheordermade,the
Courtgrantingtheinjunctionormakingtheorder,oranyCourt
towhichthesuitorproceedingistransferred,mayorderthe
propertyofthepersonguiltyofsuchdisobedienceorbreachto
beattached,andmayalsoordersuchpersontobedetainedin

CONT.CAS(C)338/2019Page6of18
thecivilprisonforatermnotexceedingthreemonths,unlessin
themeantimetheCourtdirectshisrelease.

(2)Noattachmentmadeunderthisruleshallremaininforcefor
morethanoneyear,attheendofwhichtime,ifthedisobedience
orbreachcontinues,thepropertyattachedmaybesoldandout
oftheproceeds,theCourtmayawardsuchcompensationasit
thinksfittotheinjuredpartyandshallpaythebalance,ifany,to
thepartyentitledthereto.

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4.Orderforinjunctionmaybedischarged,variedorsetaside-
Anyorderforaninjunctionmaybedischarged,orvaried,orset
asidebytheCourt,onapplicationmadetheretobyanyparty
dissatisfiedwithsuchorder:

[Providedthatifinanapplicationfortemporaryinjunctionor
inanyaffidavitsupportingsuchapplicationapartyhas
knowinglymadeafalseormisleadingstatementinrelationtoa
materialparticularandtheinjunctionwasgrantedwithout
givingnoticetotheoppositeparty,theCourtshallvacatethe
injunctionunless,forreasonstoberecorded,itconsidersthatit
isnotnecessarysotodointheinterestsofjustice:
Providedfurtherthatwhereanorderforinjunctionhasbeen
passedaftergivingtoapartyanopportunityofbeingheard,the
ordershallnotbedischarged,variedorsetasideonthe
applicationofthatpartyexceptwheresuchdischarge,variation
orsettingasidehasbeennecessitatedbyachangeinthe
circumstances,orunlesstheCourtissatisfiedthattheorderhas
causedunduehardshiptothatparty.]”

11.Insupportofhercontentionthatthepresentproceedingsarenot
maintainable,Ms.TanejahascitedthejudgmentoftheSupremeCourtin
SectionKanwarSinghSainivs.HighCourtofDelhi(2012)4SCC307,andofthis
CourtinSectionGovindSardavs.SartajHotelsApartmentsVillasPvt.Ltd.
Ors.,2006(90)DRJ69andAnandKumarDeepakKumarv.Haldiram

CONT.CAS(C)338/2019Page7of18
Bhujiawala(2008)146DLT100.Shealsocitedthejudgmentofthe
AllahabadHighCourtinSectionParmendarKaurv.AkhileshYadav(inCont.Cas.
No.1158/2017,decidedon22.06.2017).Mr.Banerjee,ontheotherhand,
alsorelieduponKanwarSinghSaini(supra)anduponjudgmentsofthis
CourtinSectionShobhaShreshtav.JayRandolphVass(2009)159DLT364and
SectionRajPalYadavv.MurliProjectsPvt.Ltd.(2016)231DLT211.

12.Beforeanalyzingtheauthorities,itisimportanttorecallthatthe
purposeoftheCourt’scontemptjurisdictionisnotjusttoensureexecution
orimplementationoforders,buttosecurepublicconfidenceinthe
administrationofjusticeitself.ThepoweroftheCourtstomakeordersand
givedirectionswouldbemuchdiminishedwithoutthepowertoensurethe
enforcementofthoseordersandtopunishthosewhoviolatethem.The
SupremeCourtinSectionJRParasharvs.PrashantBhushan(2001)6SCC735
explainedthisinthefollowingterms:-

“12.Acivilsocietyisfoundedonarespectforthelaw.Ifevery
citizenchosetobreakthelaw,wewouldhavenosocietyatall,
atleastnotacivilone.Itisthisrespectforthelawandofthe
law-enforcingagenciesthat,somewhatparadoxically,ensures
thefreedomsrecognizedintheConstitution.Therespectisat
bestafragilefoundation.Whileitistobebuiltandsustainedby
theconductofthepersonsadministeringthelaw,ithastobe
shoredupbysanctionsforactualbreachesofthelawandfor
actionsdestroyingthatrespect.Thelawofcontemptisframed
forthesecondpurpose.”

13.Turningtothejudgmentscitedbytheparties,thequestionof
maintainability,inmyview,standssettledbythejudgmentoftheSupreme
CourtinKanwarSinghSaini(supra).Inthatcase,theHighCourthad
initiatedproceedingsforcriminalcontemptonarepresentationoftheTrial
Court(inanapplicationunderOrderXXXIXRule2A)thatanundertaking

CONT.CAS(C)338/2019Page8of18
giventoithadbeenviolated.Whiledealingwiththemaintainabilityof
proceedingsunderOrderXXXIXRule2AoftheCPC,theCourtheldthat
suchproceedingscouldbeinstitutedduringthependencyofthesuitandnot
afteritsdisposalbyadecree.TheSupremeCourtfurtherheldthatitwas
notdesirablefortheHighCourttoinitiatecriminalcontemptproceedings
fordisobedienceofanorderofinjunctionwhichcouldhavebeenotherwise
executedbyattachmentofpropertyordetentionincivilprison.Itisinthis
contextthattheCourtheldasfollows:

“26.Thecaserequirestobeconsideredinthelightofthe
aforesaidsettledlegalproposition.Whatevermaybethe
circumstances,thecourtdecreedthesuitvidethejudgmentand
decreedated12-5-2003.Thesaiddecreewaspassedonthe
basisofadmission/undertakingmadebytheappellanton29-4-
2003andthepleadingstakenbyhiminhiswrittenstatement.
Therefore,inacasewheretherewasanydisobedienceofthe
saidjudgmentanddecree,theapplicationunderOrder39Rule
2-ACPCshouldnothavebeenentertained.Suchanapplication
ismaintainableinacasewherethereisviolationofinterim
injunctionpassedduringthependencyofthesuit.Intheinstant
case,nointerimorderhadeverbeenpassed.Thus,the
appropriateremedyavailabletothedecree-holderMohd.Yusuf
hadbeentofileapplicationforexecutionunderOrder21Rule
32CPC.Theprocedureinexecutionofaninjunctiondecreeis
sameasprescribedunderOrder39Rule2-Ai.e.attachmentof
propertyanddetentionofthedisobedienttogettheexecutionof
theorder.Inviewthereof,allsubsequentproceedingswere
unwarranted.

27.Theapplicationofthedecree-holderhadbeenforviolation
oftheundertakingwhichatthemostcouldbecivilcontemptas
definedunderSection2(b)ofthe1971Actasitincludesthe
wilfulbreachofanundertakinggiventoacourt.Therefore,the
trialcourtfailedtomakeadistinctionbetweencivilcontempt
andcriminalcontempt.Ameredisobediencebyapartytoa
civilactionofaspecificordermadebythecourtinthesuitis
civilcontemptforthereasonthatitisforthesolebenefitofthe

CONT.CAS(C)338/2019Page9of18
otherpartytothecivilsuit.Thiscaseremainstotheextentthat,
insuchafactsituation,theadministrationofjusticecouldbe
underminediftheorderofacompetentcourtoflawis
permittedtobedisregardedwithsuchimpunity,butitdoesnot
involvesufficientpublicinteresttotheextentthatitmaybe
treatedasacriminalcontempt.Itwasaclear-cutcase
involvingprivaterightsofthepartiesforwhichadequateand
sufficientremedyhadbeenprovidedunderCPCitself,like
attachmentofthepropertyanddetentionincivilprison,butit
wasnotacasewhereinthefactsandcircumstanceswarranted
thereferencetotheHighCourtforinitiatingtheproceedings
forcriminalcontempt.

xxxxxxxxx

30.Inanappropriatecasewhereexceptionalcircumstances
exist,thecourtmayalsoresorttotheprovisionsapplicablein
caseofcivilcontempt,incaseofviolation/breachof
undertaking/judgment/orderordecree.However,before
passinganyfinalorderonsuchapplication,thecourtmust
satisfyitselfthatthereisviolationofsuchjudgment,decree,
directionororderandsuchdisobedienceiswilfuland
intentional.Thoughinacaseofexecutionofadecree,the
executingcourtmaynotbebotheredwhetherthedisobedience
ofthedecreeiswilfulornotandthecourtisboundtoexecutea
decreewhatevermaybetheconsequencethereof.Inacontempt
proceeding,theallegedcontemnormaysatisfythecourtthat
disobediencehasbeenundersomecompellingcircumstances,
andinthatsituation,nopunishmentcanbeawardedtohim.
[SectionSeeNiazMohammadv.StateofHaryana[(1994)6SCC332]
,SectionBankofBarodav.SadruddinHasanDaya[(2004)1SCC360
:AIR2004SC942]andSectionRamaNarangv.Ramesh
Narang[(2006)11SCC114:AIR2006SC1883].]Thus,for
violationofajudgmentordecreeprovisionsofthecriminal
contemptarenotattracted.

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34.Inviewoftheabovediscussion,assuchproceedingswere
notmaintainable,theorderofreferenceitselfwasnot
warranted.Italsobecomescrystalclearthattheappellanthad

CONT.CAS(C)338/2019Page10of18
beensubjectedtounfairprocedurefromtheinstitutionofthe
suititself.Thesuithadbeen”disposedof”ingreathaste
withoutfollowingtheprocedureprescribedinCPC.Oncethe
suithasbeendecreed,thecourtcouldnotentertainthe
applicationunderOrder39Rule2-ACPCasthesuithad
alreadybeendecreedandsuchanapplicationismaintainable
onlyduringthependencyofthesuitincasetheinterimorder
passedbythecourtorundertakinggivenbythepartyis
violated.Intheinstantcase,nointerimorderhadeverbeen
passedandtheundertakinggivenbytheappellant-defendant
nottodispossessthesaidplaintiffculminatedintoafinal
decreeandthus,ifanyfurtheractionwasrequired,itcouldbe
takenonlyinexecutionproceedings.Therehasbeenmanifest
injusticeinthecaseandthedoctrineofexdebitojustitiaehas
tobeappliedinordertoredressthegrievancesofthe
appellant-defendant.Thejudgmentandorderimpugnedcannot
besustainedunderanycircumstance.”

[EmphasisSupplied]

14.Inmyview,therespondent’srelianceonthisjudgmentisentirely
misplaced.TheCourtwasprincipallyconcernedwiththemaintainabilityof
proceedingsforcriminalcontempt,andnotcivilcontempt.Infact,
paragraph30ofthejudgmentshowsthatcivilcontemptisinadifferent
categoryand,providedtherequiredingredientsareestablished,remains
available.ThepossibilityofanalternativeremedyunderOrderXXXIX
Rule2Aisnot,therefore,abartojurisdiction,orapointwhichgoesto
maintainability,butafactorwhichdeservesdueconsiderationindeciding
whetherornottoproceedundertheAct,inthefactsandcircumstancesofa
particularcase.

15.ThejudgmentoftheAllahabadHighCourtcitedbyMs.Tanejain
ParmenderKaur(supra)isalsooflittleassistance.Inthatcase,factual
enquirywasrequiredastothepossessionofaparceloflandanditwasheld

CONT.CAS(C)338/2019Page11of18
thattheTrialCourtwasinthebestpositiontoconductthatenquiry.The
dismissaloftheproceedingsundertheActwithlibertytoapproachthe
CivilCourtunderOrderXXXIXRule2Awasmadeinthatfactual
situation,anditwasexpresslyrecordedthattheCourtdidpossessthe
jurisdictionunderSection10butdeclinedtoexerciseitinthefactsofthe
case.

16.ThejudgmentofthisCourtinGovindSarda(supra)followedthe
DivisionBenchjudgmentinSectionDr.BimalChandraSenvs.KamlaMathur,
ILR(1982)IIDelhi407.InthatDivisionBenchjudgment,thecasewasone
ofcivilcontemptagainstoneoftherespondents,andcriminalcontempt
againsttheother.Whileexplainingthedistinctionbetweenthetwo,the
DivisionBenchconcludedasfollows:-

“42.Themeredisobediencebyapartytoacivilactionofa
specificorderofthecourtmadeonhiminthesuitis”civil
contempt”.Theorderismadeattherequestandforthesole
benefitoftheotherpartytothecivilsuit.Thereisanelementof
publicpolicyinpunishingcivilcontempt,sincethe
administrationofjusticewouldbeunderminediftheorderof
anycourtoflawcouldbedisregardedwithimpunity,butno
sufficientpublicinterestisservedbypunishingtheoffenderif
theonlypersonforwhosebenefittheorderwasmadechooses
nottoinsistonitsenforcement.[A.G.v.TimesNewspapers
Ltd.,(1973)3WLR298(26)atpage316perLordDiplock]

43.Allthatisatstakeinthepresentcaseistheprivaterightsof
theparties.Fordefianceofthecourtsundertheremedyis
providedinSectiontheCode.Itisattachmentanddetentionincivil
prison.Fordeliberatedefianceofinteriminjunctionsthecourt
cansendthecontemnertoprison.Ifthesubordinatecourts
cannotenforcetheirinjunctionstheordervirtuallywouldbe
worthless.Itisthedeterrenteffectofaninjunctionplusthe
liabilitytoimprisonmentforitsbreachwhichistheremedy.
Thesubordinatejudgecanpunishthedefendantifhefindsher

CONT.CAS(C)338/2019Page12of18
tobeguiltyinflagrantlydefyingtheorderwhichhehadmade.
Contumaciousdisregardandcontemptuousdisobedienceifthe
ordersofthecourthavealwaysbeenvisitedwithcommittalto
prisonandattachment.Againstthehusbandnocaseofcriminal
contempthasbeenmadeout.Itseemstomethattheapplication
iswhollymisconceived.”

17.ThejudgmentsinDr.BimalChandraSen(supra)andinGovind
Sarda(supra)werefollowedbyanotherlearnedSingleJudgeinAnand
KumarDeepakKumar(supra)andanapplicationundertheActwas
dismissedasnotmaintainable.

18.ThejudgmentsinGovindSarda(supra)andAnandKumarDeepak
Kumar(supra)wereconsideredinShobhnaShrestha(supra),whereina
learnedSingleJudgeofthisCourtexpressedtheviewthattheexistenceof
aneffectiveandalternativeremedyunderOrderXXXIXRule2Acannot
altogethereffaceorwipeoutthepowersoftheHighCourtunderthe
generallawofcontemptunderSectionArticle215oftheConstitution.Amore
recentDivisionBenchdecisioninRajPalYadav(supra)hasalsoheld
proceedingsundertheActandOrderXXXIXRule2Atobe
complementary,andnotmutuallyexclusive.

19.Inviewofthelaterjudgmentscitedabove,andparticularlyparagraph
30ofKanwarSinghSaini(supra)andtheDivisionBenchjudgmentinRaj
PalYadav(supra),thejurisdictionofthisCourtundertheActcannotbe
heldtobeoustedbytheexistenceofanalternativeremedyunderOrder
XXXIXRule2AoftheCPC.KanwarSinghSaini(supra)makesitclear
thattheremaybecaseswheretheCourtconsidersitnecessarytoexercise
itsjurisdiction,evenwhenanorderisotherwiseexecutable.

CONT.CAS(C)338/2019Page13of18

20.Thequestionisthenwhether,inthefactsofthepresentcase,this
Courtoughttoentertaintheproceedingsortorelegatethepetitionerto
proceedingsbeforetheFamilyCourtunderOrderXXXIXRule2A.The
specialcircumstanceswhichpersuademethatproceedinginthispetitionis
anappropriatecourseisthatthepresentcaseinvolvesthequestionof
jurisdictionofaforeignCourtvis-à-vistheFamilyCourtinIndia,andthat
practicallynodisputedquestionoffactsarise,sofarastheconductofthe
partiesisconcerned.Thereisofcoursesomedisputeasfortheeffectofthe
orderspassedandthecontextinwhichtherespondenthasproceededinthe
NewJerseyCourtbutthedeterminationofthosecontroversiesdoesnot
requireanyelaboratetrialorevidence.

21.ThesecondobjectionraisedbyMs.Tanejaconcernsthemeritsofthe
orderpassedbytheFamilyCourt.Shesubmitsthatthesamehasbeen
obtainedbyfraudasthepetitionermisrepresentedthatthedivorce
proceedingsfiledbyherwerepriorintimetothosefiledbytherespondent
inNewJersey.Thecorrectnessorotherwiseoftheinjunctionorderpassed
bytheFamilyCourtisnotthesubjectmatteroftheseproceedings.The
respondent’sapplicationunderOrderXXXIXRule4forvacatingthe
injunctionispending.Hehasraisedtheseverycontentionsinthat
application,andIdonotproposetopre-emptthedecisionoftheFamily
Courtinthisrespect.However,forthepresentpurposes,thisargumentis
alsonotofagreatrelevance.Itisnotuptoapartysufferinganinjunctionto
decidewhetherornottheinjunctionwasrightlygranted.Therespondent’s
characterizationoftheorderasa”nullity”doesnotdetractfromthis
position.Theonlycourseopentoapersonaggrievedbyanorderistoseek
itsvacation[astherespondenthasdone]ortochallengeit.

CONT.CAS(C)338/2019Page14of18

22.Inanothermatrimonialcaseinvolvingproceedingsindifferent
jurisdictions,theSupremeCourtinSectionSuryaVadananvs.StateofTamilNadu
(2015)5SCC450heldthatonecannotdecidewhethertheorderiscorrect
ornot,forthepurposesofcompliance.Ithasbeenstatedasfollows:-

“54.AshasbeenheldinSectionArathiBandi[ArathiBandiv.Bandi
JagadrakshakaRao,(2013)15SCC790:(2014)5SCC(Civ)
475]aviolationofaninterimoraninterlocutoryorderpassed
byacourtofcompetentjurisdictionoughttobeviewedstrictly
iftheruleoflawistobemaintained.Nolitigantcanbe
permittedtodefyordeclineadherencetoaninterimoran
interlocutoryorderofacourtmerelybecauseheorsheisof
theopinionthatthatorderisincorrect–thathastobejudged
byasuperiorcourtorbyanothercourthavingjurisdictionto
doso.ItisinthiscontextthattheobservationsofthisCourt
inSectionSaritaSharma[SaritaSharmav.SushilSharma,(2000)3
SCC14:2000SCC(Cri)568]andSectionRuchiMajoo[Ruchi
Majoov.SanjeevMajoo,(2011)6SCC479:(2011)3SCC
(Civ)396:(2011)2SCC(Cri)1033]havetobeappreciated.
Ifasageneralprinciple,theviolationofaninterimoran
interlocutoryorderisnotviewedseriously,itwillhave
widespreaddeleteriouseffectsontheauthorityofcourtsto
implementtheirinterimorinterlocutoryordersorcompeltheir
adherence.Extrapolatingthistothecourtsinourcountry,itis
commonknowledgethatincasesofmatrimonialdifferencesin
ourcountry,quiteoftenmorethanoneFamilyCourthas
jurisdictionoverthesubject-matterinissue.Insucha
situation,canalitigantsaythatheorshewillobeytheinterim
orinterlocutoryorderofaparticularFamilyCourtandnot
thatofanother?Similarly,canoneFamilyCourtholdthatan
interimoraninterlocutoryorderofanotherFamilyCourton
thesamesubject-mattermaybeignoredinthebestinterests
andwelfareofthechild?Wethinknot.Aninterimoran
interlocutoryispreciselywhatitis–interimorinterlocutory–

CONT.CAS(C)338/2019Page15of18

andisalwayssubjecttomodificationorvacationbythecourt
thatpassesthatinterimorinterlocutoryorder.Thereisno
finalityattachedtoaninterimoraninterlocutoryorder.We
mayaddawordofcautionhere–merelybecauseaparenthas
violatedanorderofaforeigncourtdoesnotmeanthatthat
parentshouldbepenalisedforit.Theconductoftheparent
maycertainlybetakenintoaccountforpassingafinalorder,
butthatoughtnottohaveapenalisingresult.”

[EmphasisSupplied]

TheobservationsoftheCourtregardingviolationofaninterlocutoryorder
weremadeinthecontextofanorderofaforeignCourt,butare,inmy
view,equallyapplicabletoorderspassedbydomesticCourts.

23.Thissamepositionhas,infact,beensettledinseveraljudgmentsof
theSupremeCourt.SectionInPrithawiNathRamvs.StateofJharkhand
Ors.,(2004)7SCC261,itwasheldasfollows:-

“8.Ifanypartyconcernedisaggrievedbytheorderwhichin
itsopinioniswrongoragainstrulesoritsimplementationis
neitherpracticablenorfeasible,itshouldalwayseither
approachthecourtthatpassedtheorderorinvokejurisdiction
oftheappellatecourt.Rightnessorwrongnessoftheorder
cannotbeurgedincontemptproceedings.Rightorwrong,the
orderhastobeobeyed.Floutinganorderofthecourtwould
renderthepartyliableforcontempt.Whiledealingwithan
applicationforcontemptthecourtcannottraversebeyondthe
order,non-compliancewithwhichisalleged.Inotherwords,it
cannotsaywhatshouldnothavebeendoneorwhatshould
havebeendone.Itcannottraversebeyondtheorder.Itcannot
testcorrectnessorotherwiseoftheorderorgiveadditional
directionordeleteanydirection.Thatwouldbeexercising
reviewjurisdictionwhiledealingwithanapplicationfor
initiationofcontemptproceedings.Thesamewouldbe

CONT.CAS(C)338/2019Page16of18
impermissibleandindefensible.Inthatviewofthematter,the
orderoftheHighCourtissetasideandthematterisremitted
forfreshconsideration.Itshalldealwiththeapplicationinits
properperspectiveinaccordancewithlawafresh.Wemakeit
clearthatwehavenotexpressedanyopinionregarding
acceptabilityorotherwiseoftheapplicationforinitiationof
contemptproceedings.”

TothesameeffectisthejudgmentinSectionUnionofIndiaandOrs.vs.Subedar
DevassyPV,(2006)1SCC613.Subsequently,inSectionCommissioner,
KarnatakaHousingBoardvs.C.Muddaiah(2007)7SCC689,the
SupremeCourtreiteratedtheaforementionedprinciple,andstatedas
follows:-

“32.Weareoftheconsideredopinionthatonceadirectionis
issuedbyacompetentcourt,ithastobeobeyedand
implementedwithoutanyreservation.Ifanorderpassedbya
courtoflawisnotcompliedwithorisignored,therewillbean
endoftheruleoflaw.Ifapartyagainstwhomsuchorderis
madehasgrievance,theonlyremedyavailabletohimisto
challengetheorderbytakingappropriateproceedingsknown
tolaw.Butitcannotbemadeineffectivebynotcomplyingwith
thedirectionsonaspeciouspleathatnosuchdirectionscould
havebeenissuedbythecourt.Inourjudgment,upholdingof
suchargumentwouldresultinchaosandconfusionandwould
seriouslyaffectandimpairadministrationofjustice.The
argumentoftheBoard,therefore,hasnoforceandmustbe
rejected.”

24.ThethirdobjectionraisedbyMs.Tanejaisalsopremature.Whether
ornotthepetitionerhadsubmittedtothejurisdictionoftheNewJersey
CourtisamatterwhichmightweighinthemindoftheFamilyCourtin
decidingtheapplicationunderOrderXXXIXRule4.Ms.Tanejahasalso
notbeenabletosubstantiatehercontentionthattheproceedingsinNew
Jerseyhadtobeproceededwithbytherespondent,failingwhichhewould

CONT.CAS(C)338/2019Page17of18
havebeenheldtobeindefaultandthecasewouldhavebeendismissed.To
establishthecontentionthattherespondentwascompelledinlawto
proceedinNewJersey,itwasincumbentuponhimtoproducesome
materialtotheeffectthattheNewJerseyCourtcouldnotordidnotgrant
anadjournmentonthegroundthattherespondentwasdisabledfrom
proceeding,byvirtueoftheFamilyCourt’sorder.Thereisnoevidenceto
thiseffectandinfact,tothecontraryarethecontentionsoftherespondent
beforetheNewJerseyCourt,wherehehasopposedthepetitioner’srequest
foranadjournment.

25.Inviewoftheaforesaid,therespondent’scontentionsregardingthe
maintainabilityofthepresentproceedingsarerejected.However,the
contentionsofthepartiesintheapplicationunderOrderXXXIXRule4are
reserved.

26.Inviewofthefactthatthepetitionerhassucceededindemonstrating,
primafacie,thattherespondenthascommittedcontemptoftheorderdated
08.02.2019,passedbytheFamilyCourt,Dwarka,heiscalledupontoshow
causeastowhyheshouldnotbepunishedunderSection10readwith2(b)
oftheSectionContemptofCourtsAct,1971.Thematterbeplacedforfurther
directions,includingwithregardtothepersonalappearanceofthe
respondent,beforetheRosterBenchdealingwithcivilcontemptpetitions
on08.07.2019.

PRATEEKJALAN,J.

JUNE06,2019
„pv‟

CONT.CAS(C)338/2019Page18of18

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