6 Aug 2021 6:52 AM GMT
Dealing with a contempt plea, Justice G. S. Patel of the Bombay High Court on Wednesday remarked that he is always slow to invoke the law of contempt of court in matters before him, but that slowness should not be mistaken for reluctance or timidity. The Bench was dealing with the matter of one Sruti Dasgupta, who, despite giving an undertaking before the Court, continued to...
Dealing with a contempt plea, Justice G. S. Patel of the Bombay High Court on Wednesday remarked that he is always slow to invoke the law of contempt of court in matters before him, but that slowness should not be mistaken for reluctance or timidity.
The Bench was dealing with the matter of one Sruti Dasgupta, who, despite giving an undertaking before the Court, continued to send several communications to the Flipkart Internet Pvt Ltd making allegations against the company, their officers and even against their Advocates.
She had earlier confirmed before the Court that she would not make such statements or complaints and that she would abide by the undertakings that she gave to the Court on two previous occasions.
"Regrettably, she persistently falls into default. This is not the first time. She has sent more emails after the last order. She sent out about 100 emails in the last four days. She puts out Tweets on one or more of her numerous Twitter accounts," noted the Court.
She apprised the Court that she was unable to control these actions and claimed that they are involuntary or, at any rate, that she cannot consciously contain herself.
To this, the Court remarked thus:
"But she must. These are orders of the Court. I will not entertain defences or arguments like this, viz., that orders of the Court and undertakings to the Court will continually be breached because the Defendant believes herself or himself to be helpless. If so, and that person needs professional assistance or intervention, that person must seek it and avail of it."
In view of this stand of the Court, the respondent Dasgupta submitted that she would delete her Twitter accounts within the next 48 hours and that she won't re-activate those accounts.
She also agreed not to set up a new Twitter accounts at least for this purpose and thus, the Court took her statements on record giving her "last and final warning".
In short, the Court noted, there will be no communications emanating from Ms Dasgupta against the Petitioner (Flipkart Internet Pvt Ltd) or its Advocates in any form of communications oral, written, physical or digital or in any medium or media whatsoever, whatever be the social media platform.
Importantly, the Court further clarified that if there would be a repetition and even a single infraction, then she will have only have herself to blame, for I will have then no option but to bring to bear the full weight and authority of law, and, in particular, the law of contempt of court.
The Court further concluded by adding:
"If she drives me to use that power (contempt of court), not only will she feel its full brunt and force, but she alone will be responsible for that state of affairs. I say this because one look at the record indicates that a contempt notice could and perhaps ought to have been issued several weeks ago. If, therefore, the Court has stayed its hands all this time, this is an act of clemency, not an indication of helplessness or ineffectiveness."
With this, the Court listed the matter on 11th August 2021 to seek a report on whether those accounts have indeed been closed down.
The Court has also left it is open, in the meantime, to the Petitioner and its Advocates to institute such form of email blocking or filtering as the Petitioner deems fit.
Case title - Flipkart Internet Pvt Ltd v. Sruti Dasgupta
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