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HC Cannot Entertain Criminal Contempt Reference From CAT: Delhi HC [Read Judgment]

Ashok Kini
3 Jun 2019 5:42 AM GMT
HC Cannot Entertain Criminal Contempt Reference From CAT: Delhi HC [Read Judgment]
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"Section 15(2) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 has no application in the context of contempt of C.A.T."

The Delhi High Court has observed that Section 15(2) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 has no application in the context of contempt of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). The CAT had forwarded the matter relating to show cause notice issued to Advocate Mehmood Pracha, counsel of IFS officer Sanjeev Chaturvedi. The bench comprising Justice Manmohan and Justice Sangita...

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The Delhi High Court has observed that Section 15(2) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 has no application in the context of contempt of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).

The CAT had forwarded the matter relating to show cause notice issued to Advocate Mehmood Pracha, counsel of IFS officer Sanjeev Chaturvedi.

The bench comprising Justice Manmohan and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal observed that Article 323 A (2)(b) of the Constitution provides that an administrative tribunal constituted under sub–clause (1) of Article 323A would be empowered to punish for its contempt if the statute establishing it so provides. Referring to the judgment in T.Sudhakar Prasad v. Govt. of AP, the bench said:

"Consequently, this court is of the view that it does not have the jurisdiction to entertain the present criminal contempt reference received from the C.A.T., particularly after the judgment of the Supreme Court in T. Sudhakar Prasad (supra). This Court is further of the opinion that Section 15(2) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 has no application in the context of contempt of C.A.T."

Section 15(2) provides that in the case of any criminal contempt of a subordinate court, the High Court may take action on a reference made to it by the subordinate court.

The bench then remitted the matter back to the C.A.T. observing that it has the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain criminal contempt proceedings in the first instance, under Section 17 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985.

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