Tulip Kanth

New Delhi, May 17, 2022: In a case where the respondent-contemnor demolished a boundary wall with the help of a JCB excavator, which was a willful and deliberate act on his part to flout the Court’s orders, the Delhi High Court has sentenced the Contemnor to undergo 45 days of simple imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 2000.

Referring the judgment of the Top  Court in Re: Vinay Chandra, which had delineated the purpose of the law of contempt in building confidence in the judicial process, the Bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad said, “The purpose of contempt jurisdiction is to uphold the majesty and dignity of the courts of law, since the respect and authority commanded by the courts of law are the greatest guarantee to an ordinary citizen and the democratic fabric of society will suffer if respect for the judiciary is undermined. For the acts done by the Respondent No.1/Contemnor, he deserves no mercy from this Court. A strong message has to be sent to the society that the orders of the Court cannot be flouted by using strong arm tactics.”

The factual scenario of this case was such that Petitioner, being aggrieved by the non-consideration of her application for putting up a boundary wall to secure her property in terms of the revenue land records, approached this Court by filing a Writ Petition and when proper police protection had not been granted to the Petitioner, then she moved an application. The Court directed the Police to grant protection to the Petitioner at the time of construction of the boundary wall. When the wall was constructed, the respondent-contemnor  with the aid of certain persons demolished the boundary wall.

According to the Bench, the Order granting protection to the Petitioner herein was passed in the presence of the Contemnor and so, he  couldnot now plead ignorance regarding the area where the boundary wall had been constructed. It was also opined that the demolition of the boundary wall took place after more than a year of the construction and therefore, this action was not in the heat of the moment and could only be construed as an attempt by the Contemnor to willfully flout the orders passed by this Court. Also, the manner in which the demolion took place, indicated that the Contemnor harboured the intention to terrorize the Petitioner, held the High Court.

With these observations, the Bench directed the Contemnor (Shyam Sunder Tyagi) to be taken in custody and disposed of the petition.

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