SC Orders Release Of ‘Unapologetic’ Litigant From Jail After He Tenders Unconditional Apology And Complies With Its Order [Read Order]
The Supreme Court last week ordered the release of a litigant, who was sent to jail for being ‘unapologetic’ and for not complying its order after he stated that he complied with its order and tendered an unconditional apology.
Last month, the bench comprising Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Indu Malhotra had sent Kovilkar Lakshmoji Rao to jail directly from the court for a period of three months.
Later, Rao filed an affidavit before the court in which he said that he has finally complied with the court’s order by demolishing the wall in question on 16.08.2018. He also tendered an unconditional apology to this court and said that in future also he would not in any manner obstruct the passage.
The bench said: “We accept the apology and the fact that he has purged himself of the contempt. The respondent will be released forthwith. “
Kovilkar Lakshmoji Rao was a judgment debtor. In a court auction held in the year 2004, his property was purchased by one Vara Kumari. After that, Rao allegedly locked access to the property by constructing a compound wall. The auction purchaser then applied to the executing court to remove the wall, which was allowed.
In a revision petition filed before the high court, the court set aside the executing court’s order on the ground that auction purchaser did not purchase any easementary right in the auction and, therefore, had no right to enter his own premises.
In an appeal filed against this high court order, the apex court set aside the order holding that there was no need to purchase any easementary right, as the entry to the premises was available on the date of the auction and was blocked by the judgment debtor only thereafter. This was in the year 2015.
Thereafter, as Rao remained adamant, a contempt petition was filed in which the apex court issued non-bailable warrants.
Finally, though he appeared before the apex court bench, he did neither apologise for his conduct, nor state that he is willing to comply with the order.
The bench then dictated the order: “The Contemnor/respondent appears before us only pursuant to non- bailable warrants being issued. He has continuously evaded service and contumaciously refused to comply with our order dated 08.01.2015. He has not apologised for his conduct, nor does he state that he is willing to comply with the order. As a result, he will be sent to jail directly from this Court for a period of three months. He will also, in the meanwhile, see that the order dated 08.01.2015 is complied with. If this is not done, the sentence will be extended to a further period of three months. The Commissioner of Police, Vijayawada is directed to file a Compliance report within a period of four weeks from today.”