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Yashwant Kumar Pandey vs The State Of Bihar on 16 May, 2019

INTHEHIGHCOURTOFJUDICATUREATPATNA
Or.CriminalMiscellaneous(DB)No.1of2019
ArisingOutofPS.CaseNo.-74Year-2014Thana-KHAGAULDistrict-Patna

YashwantKumarPandey,sonoflateMaharajaPandey,ResidentofHouseof
ShyamBihariSinghPalace,CantRoad,Mustfapur,P.S.-Khagaul,District-
Patna.

……Petitioner/s
Versus
TheStateofBihar

……Respondent/s

Appearance:

ForthePetitioner/s:Mr.SarvdeoSingh,Advocate
Mr.SanjayKumarSinha,Advocate
FortheState:Mr.DilipKumarSinha,APP
FortheComplainant:Mr.SanjeevKumarNirala,Advocate

CORAM:HONOURABLETHECHIEFJUSTICE
and
HONOURABLEJUSTICESMT.ANJANAMISHRA
ORALJUDGMENT
(Per:HONOURABLETHECHIEFJUSTICE)

Date:16-05-2019

HeardShriSarvdeoSingh,learnedcounselforthe

appellant.

Thisisapeculiarcasewhicharisesoutofadispute

betweenthehusbandandwife.

Inacriminalcaseinstitutedbythewife,theappellant

hadcomeupforbailbeforethisCourtwherehehadbeengranted

provisionalbail,butthesamewascancelledonaccountofhaving

violatedthedirectionsofthisCourt.

ThelearnedSingleJudgeinordertoensurethe

productionandpresenceoftheappellantcancelledtheprovisional
PatnaHighCourtOCR.MISC(DB)No.1of2019dt.16-05-2019
2/8

bailandthenalsosimultaneouslyissuedashowcausenotice

callingupontheappellanttofilearesponseastowhyheshould

notbepunishedforhavingcommittedcontemptofcourtby

violatingtheorderoftheHighCourt.

Itisinthesecontemptproceedingsthatthepunishment

wasinflictedontheappellantagainstwhichthepresentappealhas

beenfiled.Havingnoticedallthebackgroundofthelitigation,we

passedthefollowingorderday-before-yesterday(14.05.2019):-

“14.05.2019Heardlearnedcounselfortheappellant.

Thisappealhasbeenpreferredunder
Section19oftheContemptofCourtsAct,1971
questioningthevalidityofthepunishmentorder
dated31stofOctober,2018wherebytheappellant
hasbeensentencedtoafineofRs.2,00,000/-tobe
depositedwithinthreemonthscoupledwithan
imprisonmentofsixmonths.Failuretopaythe
amountwithinthreemonthsentailsfurther
imprisonmentofsixmonths.

Learnedcounselfortheappellant
contendsthattheproceedingsthatwereinitiated
wereonthestrengthofashowcausenoticewhich
doesnotindicateastowhetheritwasdrawnupasa
proceedingtreatingittobeacriminalcontemptora
merefailureordisobedienceofthetermsand
conditionsoftheprovisionalbailgrantedtothe
appellant,nonetheless,thelearnedSingleJudgewho
hadheardthematterproceededtopunishthe
appellantwhich,accordingtotheappellant,can
amounttoonlyapunishmentincivilcontempt
inasmuchashaditbeenacriminalcontemptthe
matterwouldhavebeentriablebyaDivisionBench
ofthisCourt.

PatnaHighCourtOCR.MISC(DB)No.1of2019dt.16-05-2019
3/8

Learnedcounsel,therefore,submitsthat
intheeventtheorderpartakesthecharacterofa
criminalcontemptthentheentireproceedingswere
withoutjurisdiction,butifthepunishmentawarded
isintermsofSection12oftheContemptofCourts
Act,1971thenthemaximumsentenceofsixmonths
canbecoupledwithfineonlytotheextentof
Rs.2000/-whereasthelearnedSingleJudgehas
imposedapenaltyofRs.2,00,000/-whichtravels
beyondthestatutoryprescription.

Theprovisionalbailgrantedtothe
appellanthadalreadybeencancelledand,sinceafter
cancellationhewasputtinginappearance,thesame
wastakentobeaviolationoftheordersofthis
Courtand,accordingly,thesecontemptproceedings
weredrawn.

Learnedcounselfortheappellant
contendsthatoncetheprovisionalbailhadbeen
cancelled,thentheconsequencesthereofunderthe
CodeofCriminalProcedureareforarrestand
detentionandacontemptproceedingwouldnotlie
inasmuchaswiththetermination/cancellationofthe
bailtheCourtcouldnothaveinitiatedproceedings
forcontempt.

Thereisyetanotherdevelopmentinthis
casewhichdeservesnoticeasithasbeenpointed
outbythelearnedcounselfortheappellantthatthis
wasarisingoutofacriminalcasewherethe
appellanthadbeenchargedwiththeallegedoffence
ofhavingdemandeddowryandotheroffences
relatedthereto.Itisinthesaidcriminalcasethatthe
bailhadbeengrantedbythisCourtwhereasonthe
civilsideadivorcepetitionwasfiledbetweenthe
appellantandthecomplainantwifeandinthesaid
proceedingsajointaffidavitprayingfordissolution
ofthemarriageintermsofSection13(B)ofthe
HinduMarriageActhadbeentenderedinwhichthe
nextdatefixedis13thofJune,2019.Inthis
background,itisurgedthattheproceedingsfor
contemptdeservestobeterminatedandtheorder
imposingthepenaltyofRs.2,00,000/-beingnot
PatnaHighCourtOCR.MISC(DB)No.1of2019dt.16-05-2019
4/8

sustainablealsodeservestobesetasidewitha
directiontoreleasetheamount.

Primafacie,thesecontentionsmayhave
tobeexamined,butiftheinformationtendered
aboutajointaffidavithavingbeenfiledinthe
divorceproceedingsiscorrect,theninthatevent,the
taskofthisCourtwouldbecomeeasier.

Forthis,wedirectthelearnedcounselfor
theappellanttoserveacopyofthisappealonthe
learnedcounselforthecomplainantSushmaKumari
Sweti,whoisthesecondrespondentinCr.Misc.
No.32161of2014,givingrisetothisappeal.The
learnedcounselforthesaidrespondentmayobtain
instructionsand,ifpossible,calluponthesecond
respondenttomakeherselfavailableorfileher
affidavitbeforethisCourtthroughthecounselin
ordertoprimafacieascertainthegenuinenessofthe
aforesaidassertionabouttheproceedingsinthe
divorcepetition.

Learnedcounselpraysthatthematterbe
takenupdayaftertomorrowtoenablehimtoassist
theCourtafterservingthelearnedCounselinthis
regard.

Putupdayaftertomorrowi.e.16thMay,
2019.”

Today,learnedcounselforthecomplainantinthe

criminalcase,whohadalsoappearedintheprovisionalbailmatter

ShriSanjeevKumarNiralaispresentalongwithhisclientSushma

KumariSweti.Shehasbeenidentifiedbyhimastobethesame

person,whoisrespondentno.2inCr.Misc.No.32161of2014and

withwhomthedisputeisgoingonwiththeappellant.
PatnaHighCourtOCR.MISC(DB)No.1of2019dt.16-05-2019
5/8

ShehasstatedbeforetheCourtthatshehasfiledthe

jointaffidavitbeforetheFamilyCourtintermsofSection13-Bof

theHinduMarriageActprayingforamutualdivorce.

Consequently,theinformationtenderedtotheCourtand

asrecordedintheorderdated14.05.2019hasbeenaffirmedby

ShriNiralainthepresenceofhisclient.

Wenowproceedtoexaminethecorrectnessorotherwise

oftheimpugnedorderofthelearnedSingleJudgeintheaforesaid

background.

Inourconsideredopinion,theproceedingsthatwere

drawnupforcontemptdonotappeartobeacriminalcontemptas

definedunderSection2(c)oftheContemptofCourtsAct,1971

inasmuchasthesamewasnotanexfaciecontempt.Fromthe

purportoftheshowcausenoticeissuedtotheappellant,itappears

thatthecontemptproceedingsweredrawnupforhavingviolated

theorderoftheCourtwhichwasobviouslyinthenatureofacivil

contempt,butarisingoutofacriminalproceeding.Wehave

reservationsabouttheproceedingshavingbeendrawnup

inasmuchasoncetheprovisionalbailhadbeencancelled,thenitis

theprovisionsSectionoftheCriminalProcedureCodethatcouldhave

beengiveneffecttobyexecutingthewarrantsandforproduction

oftheappellantorhisarrest.Iftheappellanthadnotsurrendered
PatnaHighCourtOCR.MISC(DB)No.1of2019dt.16-05-2019
6/8

evenaftertheprovisionalbailhadbeencancelled,thenthecourse

availablewasunderSectiontheCriminalProcedureCodeandnotunder

theSectionContemptofCourtsAct,butevenassumingforthesakeof

argumentthatsuchaviolationwasamenabletothejurisdictionof

thisCourt,wefindthatthepowersoftheHighCourtasaCourtof

RecordareavailableintermsofSectionArticle215oftheConstitutionof

India.Thesaidpoweris,however,controlledbylaw,namely,the

SectionContemptofCourtsAct,1971wherecivilandcriminalcontempt

arebothprovidedforandalsodefinesthepunishmentinthis

regard.Hadthecontemptproceedingsbeendrawnupforhaving

committedcriminalcontempt,thenthesamewouldhavebeen

cognizablebyaDivisionBenchandnotbythelearnedSingle

Judgehimself,butassumingforthesakeofargumentsthatthe

proceedingsdrawnupwerecivilcontempt,theninthatviewofthe

matter,theimpositionofapenaltyofRs.2,00,000/-(RupeesTwo

lacs)wasclearlycontrarytotheprovisionsoftheSectionContemptof

CourtsAct,1971wherethemaximumpenaltythatcanbeimposed

isasumofRs.2,000/-(RupeesTwothousand)only.

Apartfromtheaforesaidfacts,thebackgroundinwhich

wefindthatthelitigationisnowcomingtoaclosewiththe

divorcepetitionhavingbeenfiled,wedonotfindanyjustification

fortheappellanttobedetainedinprisononaccountofnon-
PatnaHighCourtOCR.MISC(DB)No.1of2019dt.16-05-2019
7/8

paymentofthefineofRs.2,00,000/-imposedontheappellant.Itis

undisputedthattheappellantisalreadyincustodyafterthe

provisionalbailwascancelledand,therefore,hehasalready

servedmorethansixmonthsonthecountofpunishmentunderthe

orderspassedbythisCourtwhichwedonotfindtobejustified

keepinginviewthefactthatwehavefoundthattheproceedings

couldnothavebeendrawnupinthemannerinwhichithasbeen

donebyimposingpunishmentontheappellantinthebackground

ofthecase.

We,therefore,setasidetheimpugnedjudgementdated

31stOctober,2018withoutenteringintothequantumofthe

impositionofthesentenceofimprisonment,butasobserved

above,theimpositionoffinebeingcontrarytolaw,namely,the

provisionsof1971Act,theappealisallowedtotheaforesaid

extentandtheorderimposingafineofRs.2,00,000/-isquashed.

Sofarastherequestforbailoftheappellantis

concerned,thesamehastobeconsideredbythelearnedSingle

Judgeinappropriateproceedingsthatmaybeinitiatedbythe

appellantseekingbailfromtheappropriateCourt.

Ithasbeenfurtherstatedbythelearnedcounselforthe

partiesthatthebailapplicationbeingCr.Misc.No.32161of2014

bealsodisposedofandforwhichthelearnedcounselforthe
PatnaHighCourtOCR.MISC(DB)No.1of2019dt.16-05-2019
8/8

partiespraythatthisisnecessaryastheparticipationofthe

appellantisnecessaryindivorceproceedingsotherwisethesame

shallgetdelayed.Sincethelearnedcounselforthecomplainantis

alsopresent,wedirectthatCr.Misc.No.32161of2014belisted

tomorrow(17.05.2019)beforetheBenchtobenominatedbythe

ChiefJusticeontheadministrativesidetodayitself.

Theappealstandsdisposedofaccordingly.

(AmreshwarPratapSahi,CJ)

(AnjanaMishra,J)
Sunil/-

AFR/NAFRNAFR
CAVDATENA
UploadingDate16.05.2019
TransmissionDate16.05.2019

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