Apology is one of the defences in the case of a civil contempt, the bench said.
While accepting the apology of a cop who was punished for contempt by the Punjab and Haryana High Court for arresting a man on anticipatory bail, the Supreme Court observed that the court is bound to explain as to why the apology tendered by contemnor should not be accepted.
A bench comprising Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice R Banumathi, setting aside the high court order, remarked: “Apology is one of the defences in the case of a civil contempt and the Court is bound to explain as to why the apology should not be accepted.”
According to Satwant Singh, the station house officer, he only carried out the instruction of the Superintendent and he bona fide understood the order passed by the court to mean that the accused is entitled to protection under Section 438 CrPC only in respect of those offences reflected in the order and Section 307 IPC, having been added subsequently, there was no impediment in proceeding with the investigation after arresting him on that count.
The bench termed his written apology ‘sincere, genuine and unconditional’, and said it was convinced there was no intentional move to overstep the order of the court.
Read the Judgment Here