HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD
?Court No. – 10
Case :- CONTEMPT APPLICATION (CIVIL) No. – 2933 of 2019
Applicant :- Smt. Neha Soni
Opposite Party :- Rajesh Kumar-Ist Learned Principal Judge And Another
Counsel for Applicant :- Suresh Kumar Maurya
Hon’ble Mahesh Chandra Tripathi,J.
Heard learned counsel for the applicant.
By order dated 8.11.2016 passed in First Appeal No.436 of 2016 filed by the applicant, a Division Bench of this Court directed as under:
“1. The brief facts are that the appellant got married with respondent on 17.7.2013 and they were living together. On 16.11.2014 the appellant was expelled from the matrimonial home. The appellant lodged criminal case under Section 498A read with Section 406 I.P.C. in Rajasthan where the appellant was staying. On 29.3.2015 the parties have entered into settlement and started living together. On 15.7.2016 because of the settlement criminal case was settled.
2. The parties are referred to as appellant and the respondent herein. It is an admitted position of fact as it reveals from the record that the matter was decided ex-parte. The evidence was led by way of filing affidavit being 81-Kha. It is not disputed by learned counsel for the respondent that this affidavit was not served by Registered Post/AD to the respondent. She was not given chance to cross-examine the respondent.
3. Very unfortunately the appellant was sent to her matrimonial home on 7.3.2016, where she received summon of Divorce Petition No. 777 of 2015. The appellant states on oath that she was kept in dark and therefore she did not appear before Family court, Agra. The appellant had withdrawn criminal case and was under impression that the matter was settled. The appellant and the respondent lived together till 27.11.2015. On an enquiry, she got an information that ex-parte divorce decree was passed against her and this is how this appeal.
4. It is an admitted position of fact that after filing of reply appellant did not appear. On these two grounds this appeal deserves to be partly allowed. The order and judgement dated 15.12.2015 and 8.1.2016 is hereby set aside. The matter is remitted back to the Family Court Agra for deciding the matter afresh. The parties shall appear before the Family Court, Agra on 1.12.2016. Family Court, Agra thereafter shall proceed and decide the matter within one year from the date when party shall appear.
5. The appeal is accordingly partly allowed.”
Learned counsel for the applicant submits that a certified copy of the aforesaid order was submitted for compliance before the opposite party no.1 but he has wilfully not complied with the order and, thus, has committed civil contempt liable for punishment under Section 12 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.
In response of the order dated 13.5.2019, necessary comments dated 15.7.2019 have been received from the Principal Judge, Family Court, Agra through Registrar General of this Court. Learned Presiding Officer, while submitting his explanation, has clearly proceeded to mention that for the first time, the present matter was assigned to him on 20.10.2018 and at no point of time the parties have apprised about any directions issued by this Court. Once it has been brought into his notice, the cognizance has been taken for expediting the matter. While submitting the comments it has also been informed that at present, more than 7500 cases are pending before the Principal Judge, Family Court, Agra and every day, near about 150 cases are being listed. There are also certain directions issued either by Hon’ble Apex Court or by this Court for early disposal of the matter. Sincere effort is being made for early disposal of the matter and at no point of time he has wilfully made defiance of the order passed by this Court.
The explanation so submission by the Presiding Officer is bonafide and the same is accepted.
In the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the Court is not inclined to initiate any proceeding against the opposite party under Section 12 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.
However, considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the application is disposed of asking the opposite party no.1 to comply with the aforesaid order and finalize the proceeding within a period of four months from the date of production of a certified copy of this order, without according unnecessary adjournments to either of the parties.
Order Date :- 30.7.2019