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Section 17 – The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971

The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971



17. Procedure after cognizance-


(1) Notice of every proceeding under section 15 shall be served personally on the person charged, unless the court for reasons to be recorded directs otherwise.


(2) The notice shall be accompanied-


(a) In the case of proceedings commenced on a motion, by a copy of the motion as also copies of the affidavits, if any, on which such motion is founded and,


(b) In case of proceedings commenced on a reference by a subordinate court, by a copy of the reference.


(3) The court may, if it is satisfied that a person charged under Section 15 is likely to abscond or keep out of the way to avoid service of the notice, order the attachment of his property of such value or amount as it may deem reasonable.


(4) Every attachment under sub section (3) shall be effected in the manner provided in the code of Civil procedure., 1908 (5 of 1908)1, for the attachment of property in execution of a decree for payment of money, and if , after such attachment, the person charged appears and shows to the satisfaction of the court that he did not abscond or keep out of the way to avoid service of the notice, the court shall order the release of his property from attachment upon such terms as to costs or otherwise as it may think fit.


(5) Any person charged with contempt under Section 15 may file an affidavit in support of this defence, and the court may determine the matter of the charge either on the affidavits filed or after taking such further evidence as may be necessary, and pass such order as the justice of the case requires.




(i) The period of one year has to be reckoned from the date on which a notice under this section has been issued; K.K.R. Nair v. Mohan Das, 1990 Cr LJ 1641 (AP).


(ii) An order initiating proceeding for contempt by a notice issued under section 17 is not appealable under section 19 of the Act; The Union of India v. Mario Coural Sa, AIR 1982 SC 691.


(iii) The position of a contemner is that of an accused person; M.R.

Parashar v. Dr. Farooq Abdullah, 1984 Cr LJ 337 (SC).


(iv) Personal appearance, unless dispensed with, of a contemner is mandatory; B.N. Jaisimha v. N.T. Prabhakar, (1985) 29 MLJC Cri 640.



1. Now see Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).



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The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971


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