4 Nov 2022 7:52 AM GMT
The Supreme Court has sentenced an Kenyan Citizen of Indian Origin to six months simple imprisonment finding him guilty of contempt of court.Perry Kansangra has deliberately and with a clear intention committed egregious acts of contempt, the bench of CJI UU Lalit and Justice PS Narasimha said.In a judgment delivered in 2020, the Supreme Court, in a child custody matter, held that the...
The Supreme Court has sentenced an Kenyan Citizen of Indian Origin to six months simple imprisonment finding him guilty of contempt of court.
Perry Kansangra has deliberately and with a clear intention committed egregious acts of contempt, the bench of CJI UU Lalit and Justice PS Narasimha said.
In a judgment delivered in 2020, the Supreme Court, in a child custody matter, held that the father Perry Kansangra was entitled to the custody of the child. A condition was also imposed that he should obtain a "mirror order" from the corresponding Kenyan court within two weeks to take the child to Kenya. Later, the mother Smriti Kansagra filed an application stating that the father got custody by allegedly giving a forged or wrong mirror order from the Kenyan High Court. It was also alleged that he not only refused to obey the directions granting visitation or meeting rights to the mother but also moved the Kenyan court for declaration of invalidity of Indian jurisdiction.
Taking note of this, the Supreme Court recalled the order granting custody after finding that he had played fraud on the court and had approached it with "unclean hands" by suppressing material facts. It also initiated suo motu contempt proceedings against him. It was held that Perry is guilty of having committed criminal contempt of Court apart from the contempt for violating express undertakings given to the Courts.
On Thursday (3 November 2022), the Apex Court bench considered the issue of sentence.
"These acts constitute willful disobedience of the judgment, direction and order of this Court coupled with willful breach of the undertaking given by the Court which constitute civil contempt. The contemnor has falsely represented before the foreign jurisdiction that Indian Courts have not sought the consent of Aditya and that the decision of the Supreme Court of India is unenforceable. These acts clearly lower the authority of this Court. We have also indicated that the contemnor has interfered with the due course of judicial proceedings and obstructed the administration of justice which is a clear case of criminal contempt.", the court said.
The bench also noted that the contemnor never showed any remorse or tender any apology for his conduct. The bench therefore directed that Perry be:
a) Punished with simple imprisonment for a term of six months for civil contempt of Court for his acts of deliberate and willful disobedience of the orders passed by this Court and to pay a fine of Rs. 12,50,000/- (Twelve Lakhs Fifty Thousand), in default he shall further undergo simple imprisonment for one month.
b) Punished with simple imprisonment for a term of six months for criminal contempt of Court for obstructing the administration of Justice and lowering the authority of this Court and to pay a fine of Rs. 12,50,000/- (Twelve Lakhs Fifty Thousand), in default he shall further undergo simple imprisonment for one month.
The court further clarified that these sentences shall be served consecutively and that the total fine of Rs. 25,00,000/- (Twenty-Five Lakhs) to be deposited by the contemnor in the Registry of the Court within four weeks and the same shall be released to Smriti Kansagra upon an application filed by her. Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India has been directed to secure his presence. Government of India including the Ministry of External Affairs and other agencies or instrumentalities shall carry out the directions issued by the Court with due diligence and utmost expediency, it added.
In Re Perry Kansangra | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 905 | Suo Motu Contempt Petition (Civil) 3 OF 2021 | 3 November 2022 | CJI UU Lalit and Justice PS Narasimha
Constitution of India, 1950 ; Article 129 - Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 - Power of the Supreme Court to punish for contempt is not confined to the procedure under the Contempt of Courts Act - It is within the constitutional power of this Court to consider the contumacious acts of a contemnor and to punish him/her for the same. (Para 11-14)
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