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Section 13 – The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971

The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971

 

 

13. Contempt’s not punishable in certain cases-

 

1[13. Contempts not punishable in certain cases.—Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force,—

 

(a) no court shall impose a sentence under this Act for a contempt of court unless it is satisfied that the contempt is of such a nature that it substantially interferes, or tends substantially to interfere with the due course of justice;

 

(b) the court may permit, in any proceeding for contempt of court, justification by truth as a valid defence if it is satisfied that it is in public interest and the request for invoking the said defence is bona fide.]

 

 

COMMENTS

 

(i) Section 13 postulates no punishment for contemptuous conduct in certain cases and the language used therein seems to be with utmost care and caution when it records that unless the court is satisfied that the contempt is of such a nature that the act complained of substantially interferes with the due course of justice, question of any punishment would not arise. It is not enough that there should be some technical contempt of court but it must be shown that the act of contempt would otherwise substantially interfere with the due course of justice which has been equated with “due administration of justice”; Murray & Co. v. Ashok Kumar Newalia, AIR 2000 SC 833.

 

(ii) Technical contempt’s are to be ignored; Baradakanta Mishra v. The Registrar, Orissa High Court, AIR 1974 SC 710.

 

(iii) A party (or person) can be committed for contempt only owing to any willful or deliberate or reckless disobedience of the order of the Court; Jiwani Kumari v.Satyabrata Chakraborty, AIR 1991 SC 326.

 

(iv) Exemplary costs may be awarded instead of imposing a fine; Naamunnissa Shaukat Ali v.Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay, (1990) Mah LR 329 (Bom).

 

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1. Subs. by Act 6 of 2006, sec. 2, for section 13 (w.e.f. 17-3-2006). Section 13, before substitution, stood as under:

 

“13. Contempts not punishable in certain cases.—Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, no court shall impose a sentence under this Act for a contempt of court unless it is satisfied that the contempt is of such a nature that it substantially interferes, or tends substantially to interfere with the due course of justice:”.

 

 

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The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971

 

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