Disobedience of an order of court, whether prohibitive or mandatory, whether made ex-parte or upon hearing both parties, or interim or perpetual, amounts to contempt if it is calculated or tends to interfere with the administration of justice, or brings it into disrespect or disregard Sri Syed Maqbool Raza, (the fourth respondent-Panchayat Secretary) has aided and abetted Sri J.Narayan Goud (the 7th respondent- Sarpanch) in proceeding with construction in utter disregard for the order of this Court dated 03.02.2009. He shall be detained in civil prison for a period of one month and shall pay a fine of Rs.2,000/- within four weeks from today failing which he shall undergo imprisonment for a further period of three days. Sri J. Narayan Goud (the 7th respondent Sarpanch) has not only flouted the order of this Court but has also continued with and completed construction of the building in open defiance of the order of this Court. He has, by his brazen acts of obstruction of administration of justice, made a mockery of the order of this Court dated 03.02.2009. He shall, therefore, be detained in civil prison for a period of two months and shall pay a fine of Rs.2,000/- within four weeks from today, failing which he shall undergo imprisonment for a further period of three days. As required under Rule 32(1) of the Contempt of Court Rules, 1980, respondents 3, 4, 7 and 11 shall be entitled to subsistence allowance, in accordance with their status, during the period of their detention in civil prison. The subsistence allowance for respondents 3 and 11 is fixed at Rs.1,000/- per day, and for respondents 4 and 7 at Rs.750/- per day. The State Government shall bear the cost of the subsistence allowance payable to respondents 3, 4, 7 and 11.

http://judis.nic.in/judis_andhra/qrydisp.aspx?filename=12817


THE HONBLE SRI JUSTICE RAMESH RANGANATHAN AND THE HONBLE SRI JUSTICE CHALLA KODANDA RAM                    

CONTEMPT CASE No.933 of 2009    

17-07-2015

K.Mallaiah and others..Petitioners    

Sandeep Kumar Sultania and others. .Respondents  

Counsel for the petitioners:Sri G.Madhusudhan Reddy

Counsel for respondents:  Sri G. Narender Reddy, Smt. C. Vani
                           Reddy, Sri G. Anandam, G.P. for Panchayat Raj & Rural
                           Development, Sri M. Ram Mohan Reddy, G.P. for School
                           Education, Standing Counsel for TG-MPPS GPPS,
Advocate
                           General (Telangana).

<GIST:

>HEAD NOTE:  

? Citations:

1)      (2012) 1 SCC 273
2)      (2006) 5 SCC 1
3)      (1980) 3 SCC 311
4)      (2003) 1 SCC 644
5)      1972(1) All.E.R 997
6)      2002(4) SCC 21
7)      (2008) 14 SCC 561
8)      1995 Cri.L.J.1261 (Punjab & Haryana HC DB
9)      1967(1) An.W.R.129
10)     2005(6) SCC 98
11)     2006(1) SCC 613
12)     (2004) 7 SCC 261)
13)       (1999) 7 SCC 569
14)     (2007) 7 SCC 689
15)     1995 Supp (2) SCC 130
16)     (1999) 1 SCC 16
17)     (1988) 4 SCC 592
18)     (1995) 3 SCC 507
19)     (2012) 4 SCC 307
20)     AIR 1969 SC 189
21)     AIR 1960 SC 190
22)     (1999) 2 SCC 537
23)     (2010) 12 SCC 770
24)     AIR 1987 SC 1491
25)     AIR 1961 SC 1367
26)     AIR 1954 Pat 513
27)     AIR 1957 Pat 528
28)     (1972) (3) All ER 101 (House of Lords
29)     (2003) 11 SCC 1
30)     (1972) 3 All ER 101
31)     (1999)4 All ER 486
32)     2000(8) SCC 512
33)     1986 (2) A.L.T. 131
34)     (2013) 11 SCC 332
35)     (2004) 8 SCC 683
36)     (2014) 7 SCC 280
37)     AIR 1972 SC 1197
38)     AIR 1996 SC 1925
39)     AIR 2009 SC 2214
40)     (2010) 11 SCC 493
41)     (2001) 8 SCC 650
42)     AIR 1955 SC 19
43)     AIR 1969 Cal 1
44)     (2003) 5 SCC 376
45)     (1984) 3 SCC 405
46)     1974 AC 273
47)     AIR 1967 AP 299
48)     AIR 1954 SC 743
49)     (1995) 6 SCC 249
50)     AIR 1979 SC 1536
51)     AIR 1958 Calcutta 474
52)       (2000) 2 SCC 367
53)     1995(1) SCC 421
54)     (1995) 3 SCC 757
55)  2000(6) SCC 120


HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE RAMESH RANGANATHAN          
AND
THE HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE CHALLA KODANDA RAM          

CONTEMPT CASE No.933 OF 2009      

JUDGMENT: (Per Honble Sri Justice Ramesh Ranganathan)  

      The order of this Court dated 03.02.2009, violation of which
has resulted in the present contempt proceedings being instituted,
was passed in W.P. No.1686 of 2009, a Writ Petition filed in public
interest and a public interest litigation.  The proceedings, in a
public interest litigation, are of greater significance than in other
cases.  These are matters which come up for hearing before the
Court on a grievance raised by the public at large or by public-
spirited citizens.  Courts are called upon to interfere, in the
exercise of their extra-ordinary jurisdiction, to ensure maintenance
of the rule of law, where the State and its instrumentalities fail to
discharge their statutory functions or act contrary to larger public
interest. These cases have an impact in rem on larger sections of
society, and not in personam simpliciter. (Maninderjit Singh Bitta
v. Union of India ).  Compliance with the orders of the Court, in
such cases, is imperative.
      Despite the order of this Court in W.P. No.1686 of 2009
dated 03.02.2009, directing that construction be stopped
forthwith, and a contempt case being filed later on 29.06.2009 for
violation of the said order, construction of the subject building
continued for nearly two years thereafter. None of the respondents
herein dispute that the order of this Court dated 03.02.2009 has
been violated.  Each of them either deny being aware of the order
of this Court dated 03.02.2009, or disclaim knowledge of
construction having continued after 03.02.2009 till it was
completed in March, 2011, and the building inaugurated on
11.05.2011.

I. CONTEMPT OF COURT: ITS SCOPE:      
      Disobedience of orders of the Court strikes at the very root of
the rule of law on which the judicial system rests.  If the judiciary
is to perform its duties, function effectively, and remain true to the
spirit with which they are entrusted with certain sacred duties, the
dignity and authority of the Court should be respected and
protected. (Maninderjit Singh Bitta1; T.N. Godavarman
Thirumulpad (102) v. Ashok Khot ).  Rule of law is the
foundation of democratic society and the judiciary is its guardian.
The Court has the duty of protecting the interest of the public in
the due administration of justice and, as such, is entrusted with
the power to commit for contempt of court, not in order to protect
its dignity against insult or injury as the expression contempt of
court may seem to suggest, but to protect and vindicate the right of
the public that the administration of justice shall not be prevented,
prejudiced, obstructed or interfered with. If orders of the Court are
disobeyed with impunity by those who owe an obligation to society
to preserve the rule of law, not only would individual litigants
suffer, but the whole administration of justice would be brought
into disrepute.  (Advocate General, State of Bihar v. M.P. Khair
Industries ; Bijay Kumar Mahanty v. Jadu ).
      Contempt of Court, an unfortunate and misleading phrase,
suggests that it exists to protect the dignity of the judges.  Nothing
could be farther from the truth.  The power exists to ensure that
justice shall be done.  The public at large, no less the individual
litigant, have an interest, and a very real interest, in justice being
effectively administered.  Unless it is so administered the rights,
and indeed the liberty, of the individual would perish.  (Jennison
v. Baker ).  The Contempt of Courts Act secures confidence of the
people in the administration of justice. If an order, passed by a
competent court, is clear and unambiguous, disobedience or
breach of such an order would amount to contempt of court. There
can be no laxity, as otherwise orders of court would be the subject
of mockery.  (Anil Ratan Sarkar v. Hirak Ghosh ; Patel
Rajnikant Dhulabhai v. Patel Chandrakant Dhulabhai ).  Every
one, howsoever high he may be, is bound to implement orders of
Court. Those who disregard orders of courts do so at their own
peril for no one is above the law.  (Court on its own motion v.
N.S. Kanwar ).
      Disobedience of an order of court, whether prohibitive or
mandatory, whether made ex-parte or upon hearing both parties,
or interim or perpetual, amounts to contempt if it is calculated or
tends to interfere with the administration of justice, or brings it
into disrespect or disregard (Jagarlmudi Chandramouli v. K.
Appa Rao ).  Right or wrong, the order has to be obeyed. Flouting
an order of the court would render the party liable for contempt.
(Director of Education, Uttaranchal v. Ved Prakash Joshi ,
Union of India v. Subedar Devassy PV , Prithawi Nath Ram v.
State of Jharkhand ).  The power, to punish for contempt, is
exercised to prevent perversion of the course of justice. (Kapildeo
Prasad Sah v. State of Bihar ).  Once a direction is issued by a
competent court, it has to be obeyed and implemented without
reservation. The only remedy available to a party, who suffers an
order, is to challenge it in accordance with law. The order cannot
be rendered ineffective, by not complying with the directions on
specious pleas, as it would seriously affect and impair
administration of justice.  (Karnataka Housing Board v. C.
Muddaiah ; Patel Rajnikant Dhulabhai7).
      Any interference with the course of justice, or any
obstruction caused in the path of those seeking justice, is an
affront to the majesty of law and the conduct of
interference/obstruction is punishable as contempt of court.  If the
act complained of causes hindrance in the discharge of, or tends to
obstruct or interfere with, the due course of justice, the conduct
complained of constitutes contempt of court, (Ram Autar Shukla
v. Arvind Shukla ), and the power of contempt can be exercised
to uphold the dignity of the court and protect its proper
functioning. (ITAT v. V.K. Agarwal ).  Public interest demands
that there should be no interference with the judicial process, and
the effect of the judicial decision should not be pre-empted or
circumvented. (Reliance Petrochemicals Ltd. v. Proprietors of
Indian Express Newspapers Bombay (P) Ltd., ).
      The following conditions must be satisfied before a person
can be held to have committed civil contempt: (i) there must be a
judgment, decree, direction, order, writ or other process of a court
(or an undertaking given to a court); (ii) there must be disobedience
to such judgment, decree, direction, order, writ or other process of
a court (or breach of undertaking given to a court); and (iii) such
disobedience of the judgment, decree, direction, order, writ or other
process of a court (or breach of undertaking) must be wilful.  (Patel
Rajnikant Dhulabhai7). Civil contempt arises where the power of
the Court is invoked and exercised to enforce obedience to the
orders of the court. (Delhi Development Authority v. Skipper
Construction ).
      Courts are called upon to exercise their contempt
jurisdiction with twin objects in mind. Firstly, to punish those who
have disobeyed or not carried out the orders of the court i.e. for
their past conduct. Secondly to pass such orders, including
imprisonment by use of the contempt jurisdiction, to ensure
compliance with its orders in future. (Maninderjit Singh Bitta1).
The purpose, for which contempt proceedings are initiated, is to
ensure compliance with the order passed by the court, and to
punish the contemnor for his audacity in challenging the majesty
of the law. (Kanwar Singh Saini v. High Court of Delhi ).  Where
there has been willful disobedience of an order of the Court, and a
measure of contumacy on the part of the defendants, then civil
contempt, what is called contempt in procedure, bears a two fold
character, implying as between the parties to the proceedings
merely a right to exercise and a liability to submit to a form of civil
execution, but as between the party in default and the State, a
penal or disciplinary jurisdiction to be exercised by the Court in
the public interest. (Jennison5).
      The order of this Court, in W.P.No.1686 of 2009 dated
03.02.2009, necessitated compliance not only by those who were
parties to the Writ Petition, but also by those, who even if they
were not parties thereto, were aware of the order of this court
dated 03.02.2009 on their being informed thereof, or were made
aware of the order of this court dated 03.02.2009 by others. Before
examining who, among the eleven respondents in this contempt
case, were aware of the order of this court dated 03.02.2009, and
which of them had wilfully violated the said order, it is necessary
to take note of certain events leading upto the filing of this
contempt case on 29.06.2009, and beyond.

II. FACTS IN BRIEF:
      The petitioners are residents of Challoor village, Veenavanka
Mandal, Karimnagar District.  A government school was
established in Challoor village to cater to the educational needs of
the children thereat.  The school building was located in a part of
the land of an extent of Ac.3.24 guntas, and the remaining extent
was earmarked for the school playground.  The Challoor gram
panchayat passed a resolution on 22.08.2008 allotting a part of
the land, set apart for the school playground, to the 6th
respondent-Mahila Swasakti Sangham.  
      Writ Petition No.1686 of 2009 was filed in public interest on
02.02.2009.  In the affidavit filed in support thereof, the 7th
petitioner stated that the Gram panchayat had passed a resolution
on 22.08.2008 allotting the place, earmarked for the playground of
a government school, to certain organisations; the playground was
being used by the school children to play games; any loss of the
playground would adversely affect the student community; the
gram panchayat lacked jurisdiction to allot land earmarked for the
play ground of a government school; representations were
submitted by them to the District Education Officer, and the
District Panchayat Officer, informing them that any construction
on the school playground would affect school children for all times
to come; as their representations fell on deaf ears, they were
invoking the jurisdiction of this Court; apart from the 6th
respondent, there were others who were also making construction
in the playground of the school; and respondents 1 to 5 were
obligated to protect the school playground.  By way of interlocutory
relief, the petitioners sought a direction from this Court to the
respondents to stop construction.  This Court passed the following
order on 03.02.2009:-
       Ad-interim relief to the effect that Status quo shall be maintained.  No
construction shall be put up and, if any construction is started, it should be
stopped forthwith.

      In the present contempt case, filed on 29.06.2009, the 7th
petitioner stated that the 6th respondent had started making
construction after the interim order was passed by this Court; he
had submitted a representation to the respondents enclosing a
copy of the order dated 03.02.2009; inspite of the directions of the
High Court, the respondents had again started construction of the
building in the place earmarked for the school playground; and
they were filing photographs to show the extent to which the
subject building was constructed.
      Administrative sanction for Rs.1.80 lakhs, for construction of
the subject building, was accorded by the proceedings of the Chief
Executive Officer, Zilla Parishad dated 27.11.2008, and for Rs.1.60
lakhs by proceedings dated 13.04.2010 (refer: counter of the 11th
respondent).  While the construction had just commenced when
W.P.No.1686 of 2009 was filed and the interim order was passed
on 03.02.2009, by the time the Contempt Case was filed nearly
four months thereafter on 29.06.2009, construction of the subject
building continued, pillars were laid on all four sides, and the
outer wall of the ground floor was raised on two sides. (refer:
affidavit filed in support of the contempt case, and the photographs
enclosed thereto). The Executive Engineer (PR) recorded
measurements, in the measurement book, between 18.12.2008 to  
20.07.2009 with regards construction of the subject building, and
effected payment to the contractor as under:
Sl.
No
Cheque
No.
Date
Net
amount
Date of
drawl
MB No.
1.
984181
28.07.2009
42761
03.08.2009
878/BK/2008
2.
95813
24.09.2009
87101
03.10.2009
878/BK/2008
3.
186564
17.05.2010
88643
20.05.2010
185/BK/2006
4.
291822
25.04.2011
62424
28.04.2011
185/BK/2006
5.
848664
17.08.2012
127038
25.08.2012
341/AK/2011

      (refer: counter-affidavit of the 1st respondent dated
21.08.2014).   Construction of the walls of the subject building
continued in May, 2009 (refer: letter addressed by the 7th petitioner
to the District Collector and the District Panchayat Officer on
01.06.2009).  The very fact that measurement was recorded
between 18.12.2008 to 20.07.2009 goes to show that construction
of the subject building continued after the order of this Court
dated 03.02.2009, and even after the contempt case was filed on
29.06.2009.  While the subject building was constructed upto the
lintel level prior to 17.07.2009, construction beyond the lintel level
of the building continued after 17.07.2009 (refer: counter-affidavits
of respondents 10 and 11). Construction of the building was again
undertaken during Dasara Vacations of October, 2009 till the
school reopened, and was thereafter continued in the month of
May, 2010 when the school was closed for summer vacations.
(refer: counter affidavit of the 5th respondent-headmaster dated
20.09.2013).  Construction of the building continued even in
November, 2009 (refer: counter-affidavit of the 4th respondent-
Panchayat Secretary).  By 30.11.2010, construction of the subject
building was completed upto roof level (refer: letter addressed by
the Executive Engineer (PR) to the 7th respondent on 30.11.2010).
Construction of the subject building was completed by March,
2011 and it was ready to be handed over to the concerned
department (refer: letter of the Executive Engineer (PR) dated
23.03.2011).  The building, which was constructed in complete
disregard of the order of this Court dated 03.02.2009, was
inaugurated by the Minister for Higher Education and a Member of
Parliament on 10.05.2011.  It is disconcerting not only that the
order of this Court dated 03.02.2009 was violated, but also that,
even after the Contempt Case was filed on 29.06.2009,
construction of the building continued for nearly two years
thereafter till it was completed in March, 2011, and was
inaugurated on 10.05.2011.
      Of the six respondents in W.P.No.1686 of 2009, the first
respondent was the District Collector, Karimnagar; the second
respondent was the District Educational Officer, Karimngar; the
third respondent was the District Panchayat Officer, Karimnagar;
the fourth respondent was the Gram Panchayat, Challoor
represented by its Secretary, Veenavanka Mandal, Karimnagar
District; the fifth respondent was the Government School, Challoor
represented by its Head Master; and the sixth respondent was the
Mahila Swasakti Sangham, Challoor represented by its President.
In the Contempt Case, as originally filed by the petitioner, the six
respondents were (1) Sri Sandeep Kumar Sultania, District
Collector, (2) Sri N. Rameshwara Raju, District Educational Officer,
Karimnagar, (3) V. Venkateshwarlu, District Panchayat Officer,
Karimnagar, (4) Syed Maqbool Raza, Panchayat Secretary, (5) K.
Raja Mouli, Head Master of the School, and (6) Sri Hari Chand,
President of the Mahila Swasakti Sangham.  The first respondent-
Sri Sandeep Kumar Sultania - continued to be the District
Collector, Karimnagar till 04.04.2010.  The 2nd respondent-Sri N.
Rameshwara Raju, worked as the District Educational Officer,
Karimnagar from 20.02.2008 to 12.06.2011 and retired from
service as the Deputy Director on 30.09.2012. The 3rd respondent-
Sri V. Venkateshwarlu - worked as the District Panchayat Officer,
Karimnagar District till he was transferred to Khammam on
17.04.2010.  He also retired from service later.
      Smt. K. Lalitha, President of Sri Poojitha Samaikya
Sangham, Challoor and Sri J. Narayan Goud, Sarpanch were
impleaded as respondents 6 and 7 by the order of this Court dated
25.07.2014. Smt. G.D. Aruna, IAS, Smt. Smitha Sabharwal, IAS,
Sri E. Dasharatham, Superintending Engineer (PR), and Sri A.B.
Vara Prasad, Executive Engineer (PR) were impleaded as
respondents 8 to 11 by the order of this Court dated 05.09.2014.
Smt. G.D. Aruna, IAS (8th respondent) worked as the District
Collector, Karimnagar from 04.04.2010 till 17.04.2011; and Smt.
Smitha Sabharwal, IAS, worked as District Collector, Karimnagar
from 18.04.2011 to 13.06.2013.  Sri E. Dasharatham, worked as
Executive Engineer (PR), Karimnagar till 17.07.2009 and Sri A.B.
Vara Prasad, worked as Executive Engineer (PR) from 17.07.2009
onwards till construction of the subject building was completed in
March, 2011.

III. CONTENTS OF THE AFFIDAVIT AND COUNTER-      
         AFFIDAVITS FILED IN THE CONTEMPT CASE:    

      In examining the question as to which of the eleven
respondents in this contempt case are guilty of contempt, it is
necessary, at the outset, to note the contents of the affidavit filed
by the petitioners in support of the contempt case, and the
counter-affidavits filed by the respondents in reply thereto.  In the
affidavit, filed in support of the Contempt Case, the 7th petitioner
stated that they had made repeated representations to the
respondent authorities bringing it to their notice that construction
had not been stopped in the playground of the school.  Along with
the Contempt Case, the 7th petitioner enclosed the letter addressed
by him to the District Collector and the District Panchayat Officer
on 01.06.2009, copies of which were received by the office of the
District Collector and the office of the District Panchayat Officer on
the same day i.e, on 01.06.2009.  In the said letter, the 7th
petitioner stated that, in the vacant land, the Mahila Sangham had
marked the plan and had raised the basement.  He requested them
to direct the concerned to stop the encroachment and the illegal
construction, and save the land of the school.
                  In his counter-affidavit dated 21.08.2014, Sri Sandeep
Kumar Sultania, the 1st respondent-District Collector, Karimnagar
stated that, on the representation of the Mahila Swasakti
Sangham, he had accorded administrative sanction for
construction of the Mahila Swasakti Sangham building on
03.09.2007; the High Court had passed an interim order on
03.02.2009; a copy of the said order was received by him on
28.02.2009, and immediately a note dated 28.02.2009 was issued
to the District Educational Officer, Karimnagar District, the
District Panchayat Officer, Karimnagar, the Sarpanch, Challoor
Gram Panchayat, the Head Master of the School and the President
of the Sangham directing them to comply with the order of this
Court; the District Panchayat Officer, Karimnagar had instructed
the Panchayat Secretary, the Sarpanch, and the Mandal Parishad
Development Officer on 07.03.2009 to take necessary action as per
the High Court order; a copy of the said order was marked to the
Chief Executive Officer, Zilla Praja Parishad; the Panchayat
Secretary had issued a notice to the President of the 6th respondent
on 07.03.2009 to stop construction of the building, in the premises
of the school, immediately and, if any further construction of the
building was raised, it should be treated as a violation of the order
of the High Court for which they would alone be responsible; the
District Panchayat Officer had addressed letter dated 07.03.2009
to the District Educational Officer, and the Head Master of the
school, to stop construction of the building and to ensure that
status quo is maintained; a copy of the said proceedings was
marked to the Panchayat Secretary, the Sarpanch, the Mandal
Praja Parishad Development Officer, and the Chief Executive
Officer, Zilla Praja Parishad; the Panchayat Secretary had reported
to the District Panchayat Officer, by his letter dated 07.03.2009,
that construction of the building had been stopped in compliance
with the High Court order; the District Panchayat Officer had
enquired in the village on 15.07.2009 about the stage of the work
of the building; he had, in his letter dated 15.07.2009 addressed to
the Government Pleader, High Court, stated that when he
inspected the spot, along with the Divisional Panchayat Officer,
status quo was being maintained and the construction position
was as it was on the day i.e. 07.03.2009; the District Panchayat
Officer is a very senior functionary in the district, and his report
was relied upon by him; the contempt case notice dated
22.07.2009 was received by him on 06.08.2009; on receipt of the
notice, the District Panchayat Officer had filed a counter-affidavit,
both for himself and on behalf of the other respondents, stating
that the Panchayat Secretary had informed, vide his letter dated
07.03.2009, that the construction was stopped; necessary steps
were taken by him to stop construction in terms of the order of the
High Court dated 03.02.2009; the Sarpanch, Challoor Gram
Panchayat is also the Chairman of the School Development
Committee, and the Chairman of the works committee of the gram
panchayat; he was aware of the order of the High Court, but had
willfully carried out construction work, and received payment; it is
evident from the letter addressed by the Sarpanch to the Deputy
Educational Officer dated 20.02.2010 that, though the stay order
of the High Court was in force, the building was almost completed;
the Sarpanch had also further requested that the building be
handed over to the Mahila Swasakti Sangham; though clear
instructions were issued, the contractor who is the Sarpanch
(Chairman of Works Committee) had willfully carried out the work
violating the High Court order; despite the facts being brought to
his notice by the petitioner, the Executive Engineer (PR), had
violated the order of the High Court, and had made payment to the
contractor-Sarpanch (Chairman of the Works Committee); the
Executive Engineer (PR), who is the executing agency, did not
bother about the status-quo order of the High Court, and did not
stop the work even after being informed by the petitioner; he
recorded the measurement book between 18.12.2008 to  
20.07.2009, and effected payment to the contractor; the Executive
Engineer (PR), who is the executive agency and who is aware of the
High Court order, did not restrain the contractor from making
further construction; on the contrary, he recorded the
measurement book, and made payment; the Executive Engineers  
(PR) were E. Dasharatham and A.B.V. Prasad; the Extension
Officer (PR & RD)  had conducted an enquiry, and had reported to
the Divisional Panchayat Officer on 19.11.2010, that the
Panchayat Secretary had failed to implement the High Court order,
he had simply issued notice to the Grama Samaikya  Sangam, he  
had failed to stop the building construction, and he had also not
informed the same to the competent authority; in view of the said
report, the Panchayat Secretary had been placed under suspension
vide proceedings dated 29.12.2012; he had made all possible
efforts to stop the construction, and had instructed all the
concerned officers including the Chief Executive Officer, Zilla Praja
Parishad, who is the controlling agency for the Panchayat Raj
Department in the District, to strictly implement the order of the
High Court; and he was tendering his unconditional apology.
        In the additional counter-affidavit filed on 21.01.2015, the
1st respondent submitted that, after the present contempt case was
filed, he was transferred from Karimnagar to Hyderabad on
04.04.2010; he had filed a detailed counter-affidavit in the
contempt case in August, 2014; he had requested the District
Panchayat Officer, Karimnagar to furnish photostat copies of the
material/documents pertaining to the present contempt
proceedings, and the correspondence made by all officers at all
levels; the District Panchayat Officer had obtained the entire record
from Challur Gram Panchayat, and had furnished the relevant
papers to him; on perusing the entire record, he thought it fit to
bring it to the notice of this Court, the contents of the letter dated
20.02.2010; and he had taken photostat copies of the letter dated
20.02.2010 addressed by the Sarpanch, Challur Gram Panchayat  
to the Deputy District Educational Officer, Karimnagar as the
contents of the said letter were very important for the purpose of
adjudication of the present contempt case.
                   In his counter-affidavit dated 20.09.2013, Sri N. Rameshwar
Raju, the then District Educational Officer, Karimnagar, stated
that he worked as the District Educational Officer, Karimnagar
from 20.02.2008 to 12.06.2011; he received a copy of the interim
order dated 03.02.2009 on 19.02.2009, and took action to
implement the order of the High Court; he had instructed the head
master of the school, by proceedings dated 25.03.2009, to stop the
illegal construction work of the Mahila Mandali Building in the
play ground of the school with the help of the police immediately,
and submit a compliance report to him for taking further
necessary action; in obedience to the order of the Court dated
03.02.2009, he addressed a letter to the Sub-Inspector of Police on
11.06.2009, and to the Superintendent of Police on 12.06.2009,
requesting them to stop the illegal construction work in the play
ground of the school; and the Chief Executive Officer, Zilla
Parishad was the custodian of the building and the lands of the
school under the Zilla Parishad/Mandal Praja Parishad
management.  In his counter affidavit dated 10.04.2013, Sri K.
Lingaiah, the District Educational Officer (after Sri N. Rameshwar
Raju, stated that the District Educational Officer, by his letter
dated 09.10.2009, had appointed an enquiry officer regarding the
illegal construction of the building; the Deputy Educational Officer
had visited the school, and had conducted an enquiry; prompt
action had been taken to stop the illegal construction work; and
the Mandal Educational Officer, Veenavanka had informed that the
work was completed despite all action taken by them.
      in his counter-affidavit dated 16.07.2009, the 3rd respondent
(District Panchayat Officer, Karimnagar) stated that a copy of the
order of this Court, in W.P. No.1686 of 2009 dated 03.02.2009,
was received in his office on 05.03.2009; he had, thereafter, issued
letter dated 07.03.2009 to the Secretary, Challoor Gram Panchayat
informing him that the direction of the High Court dated
03.02.2009 should be implemented, and to take immediate steps
to stop further construction; in reply, the Secretary of the Gram
Panchayat had informed him on 07.03.2009 that the 6th
respondent was directed to stop further construction, he had
initiated follow-up action to maintain status quo, the President of
the 6th respondent was suitably instructed in this regard not to
continue with construction, if any, undertaken on the school
playground land; the District Educational Officer, Karimnagar and
the Head Master of the school had been directed to take all
possible efforts to ensure that construction, if any, on the school
playground was stopped, and to report compliance; the 2nd
respondent was pursuing with the Tahsildar, Veenavanka Mandal
to ensure that the illegal construction thereon was stopped; and,
as follow-up action was taken to maintain status quo on the orders
passed by the High Court dated 03.02.2009, there was no violation
of the order of the Court.
      In his additional counter-affidavit filed in November, 2014.
the 3rd respondent (i.e Sri V.Venkateswarlu, Retired District
Panchayat Officer) stated that, upon receipt of the order of the
High Court dated 03.02.2009, he had addressed letter dated
07.03.2009 to the Panchayat Secretary intimating him of the order
passed by the High Court on 03.02.2009; he had also instructed
the Panchayat Secretary to take necessary steps for its
implementation; a copy thereof was marked to the Sarpanch,
Challoor Gran Panchayat, the Mandal Parishad Development
Officer, Veenavanka Mandal, the petitioner and the Chief Executive
Officer of the Zilla Parishad; he had also addressed a letter on the
same day, i.e., on 07.03.2009, to the District Educational Officer,
Karimnagar District, and to the Head Master of the School,
enclosing a copy of the order of the High Court dated 03.02.2009;
he had asked them to forthwith take necessary steps to stop the
construction, and to take photographs showing the construction
on that day; he had, thereafter, asked them to take necessary
steps for implementation of the order, and to maintain status quo;
the Panchayat Secretary  had also issued a notice to the President
of the 6th respondent asking them to stop construction forthwith;
he had also warned that, in the event construction was continued,
the same would be treated as an offence under the Contempt of
Courts Act; the Panchayat Secretary had informed him of
compliance of the order of the High Court; upon instructions from
the Learned Government Pleader, he had inspected the spot on
15.07.2009, along with the Divisional Panchayat Officer,
Karimnagar; during spot inspection, he had observed that the
status quo order of the High Court had been implemented in true
letter and spirit; during inspection, the villagers, the Sarpanch, the
Panchayat Secretary, the Head Master of the school, and the officer
bearers of Mahila Swasakti Sangham were present; he had made it
clear that there should not be any construction henceforth; he had
informed the facts to the Learned Government Pleader on the same
day; he is unaware of the payment made to the contractor as it
appears to have been made by the concerned department; there is
no synchronization between one department and another; it
appears that payment had been released in favour of the
contractor; he could not be held responsible for the alleged
payment; on his transfer to Khammam as the District Panchayat
Officer, he was relieved from services at Karimnagar on
17.04.2010; during his tenure as the District Panchayat Officer,
Karimnagar he had taken immediate steps for implementation of
the order of the High Court; and he had not disobeyed the orders
of the Court.
      In his counter-affidavit dated 11.08.2009, the 4th
respondent-Panchayat Secretary (i.e Syed Maqbool Raza) stated
that, pursuant to the order of this Court dated 03.02.2009, he had
issued a notice to the 6th respondent on 07.03.2009 to stop
construction work; he had also informed the Head Master of the
school; on 07.03.2009 he had informed the District Panchayat
Officer (3rd respondent) about the action taken by him pursuant to
the order of the High Court; construction was raised upto roof level
before the interim order was passed by the High Court; and he had
not violated the order of the High Court.
      In his counter-affidavit dated 20.09.2013, Sri K. Raja Mouli,
the Head Master of the School (4th respondent) stated that, on
receipt of the High Court order dated 03.02.2009, and as per the
District Educational Officers letter dated 25.03.2009, he had
submitted a representation to the Sub-Inspector of Police on
12.06.2009 requesting them to stop construction forthwith; the 6th
respondent had stopped the work on receipt of the Court order;
however, in the month of October during Dasara vacations, the 6th
respondent again started the work temporarily, till reopening of the
school; thereafter they stopped the work; again in the month of
May, 2010 during summer holidays, they had carried out the
remaining construction work and had completed the same;
immediately upon coming to know about the said construction
work, he brought it to the notice of his superior officer at the
Mandal Level i.e., the Mandal Educational Officer by his letter
dated 21.10.2010; subsequently the said building was inaugurated
by the concerned Minister; he had the highest regard for the order
of the High Court; and he was discharging his legitimate duties
honestly and sincerely.
      In her counter-affidavit dated 05.09.2014, Smt. Kampelli
Lalitha (the 6th respondent and the President of the Mahila
Sangham) stated that she was the President of the 6th respondent
from 05.12.2006 to 04.03.2011; the interim order dated
03.02.2009 was not served on her, and she had no notice thereof;
she has been impleaded by name only on the directions of this
Court; in the affidavit, filed in support of the contempt petition,
there is no allegation of willful violation against her; the
representation allegedly made by the petitioner, after the order
passed by this Court, was to Sri Hari Chand, President of the
Mahila Swasakti Sangham; she did not receive any such
representation; she did not take any steps in the construction
process; she had no role or power to carry out the construction or
supervise the same; she was not associated with payment for the
construction in question; she did not give any direction for
construction in violation of the interim order; she has passed 10th
class in telugu medium, and is now working as an Anganvadi Ayah
in Challur village; and she is a humble lady from the lower strata
of society.
      In his counter-affidavit dated 05.09.2014, Sri J. Narayana
Goud (7th respondent) stated that he is the Sarpanch of Chellur
Gram panchayat; he was neither a party to the Writ Petition nor to
the contempt case; the order dated 03.02.2009 was not served on
him; he did not receive any representation from the petitioner
informing him about the interim order; after construction was
almost completed, he had approached the Executive Engineer (PR)
for payment of the bills; the Executive Engineer had instructed him
to approach the Deputy District Educational Officer, and get
clearance from him in order to get payment; he had approached
the Deputy District Educational Officer, Karimnagar who got
prepared a letter, purporting to have been written by him and
addressed to the Deputy District Educational Officer; the Deputy
District Educational Officer had asked him to sign the letter and
submit it; on reading the letter, from the penultimate para, he
found a reference to the stay order of the Court, and obstruction of
the work; he had objected to the said contents as he was not aware
of any prohibitory orders of the Court; the Deputy District
Educational Officer stated that, unless he signed the letter as
prepared by him, he would not get payment; only upon going
through the letter dated 20.02.2010, did he come to know about
the interim order passed by the High Court, and not earlier; the
Superintending Engineer (PR) and the Executive Engineer (PR),
due to political pressure, exerted pressure on him continuously to
complete the construction work as the concerned Minister  was
stated to be interested in early completion of the work; they never
told him that he should stop the work in view of the interim order;
the local MLA and MP were frequently visiting and exhorting him to
complete the work at the earliest; and he had no intention to
violate the order of the High Court.
      In her counter-affidavit Smt. G.D. Aruna, I.A.S (8th
respondent) stated that she worked as the District Collector,
Karimnagar from 04.04.2010 to 17.04.2011; during her tenure as
the District Collector, Karimnagar neither the funding agencies i.e.,
the District Rural Development Agency and the Zilla Parishad nor
the executing agency  i.e., Executive Engineer, Panchayat Raj or
other official respondents, had brought to her notice the interim
order passed in W.P. No.1686 of 2009 dated 03.02.2009 or
regarding construction of the Mahila Swashkthi Sangham building
taking place at Challur village; during her tenure as the District
Collector, Karimnagar, she did not sanction any work nor did she
release any funds to any agency; she was not aware of the
pendency of the Writ Petition or of the interim order passed by this
Court, or that the construction of the building was in violation of
the order; she has the highest regard for the orders of Court; and
she has not violated the order of the High Court.
      In her counter-affidavit, the 9th respondent stated that she
worked as the District Collector, Karimnagar from 18.04.2011 to
13.06.2013; the District Panchayat Officer had circulated the file to
her on 24.12.2012 explaining the details of the case, and seeking
orders on the lapses committed by the Panchayat Secretary of
Challur Gram Panchayat; as per the report of the Extension officer
(PR&RD) dated 19.11.2010, the Panchayat Secretary, Challur
Gram panchayat had not implemented the order of the High Court
in W.P. No.1686 of 2009 dated 03.02.2009; the District Panchayat
Officer had recommended that the Panchayat Secretary be placed
under suspension, and he be appointed as the enquiry officer to
conduct an enquiry; she had approved the same on 27.12.2012;
orders were issued placing the Panchayat Secretary under
suspension, vide proceedings dated 29.12.2012, for the lapses
committed by him including for non-implementation of the order of
the High Court dated 03.02.2009; in the month of December,
2012, she had enquired with the District Panchayat Officer about
the stage of  construction of the Mahila Swashakthi Sangham
Building at Challur; the District Panchayat Officer had informed
that the construction of the building was already completed, and
the same was inaugurated on 10.05.2011 by the Member of
Parliament and the Minister for Higher Education; and the
building is being used by the Mahila Sangham.  The 9th respondent
further stated that she was not aware of the interim order of the
High Court dated 03.02.2009, or regarding the disputed
construction of the building, till the file was circulated to her on
24.12.2012 by the District Panchayat Officer, Karimnagar; the
inauguration of the building was also not known to her as it was
an unofficial programme arranged by the MP and the Minister; and
she has not violated the order of the High Court.
       In his counter-affidavit dated 15.10.2014, the 10th
respondent Sri E. Dasharatham, (the erstwhile Executive Engineer,
Panchayat Raj Department) stated that he was not arrayed as a
respondent in the Writ Petition; he was not aware of the passing of
an interim order by this Court on 03.02.2009; neither the District
Collector nor the District Educational Officer, or District Panchayat
Officer or the Head Master of the Government School or the Gram
Panchayat Secretary, who were the official respondents in the Writ
Petition, had intimated him of the status quo order passed by this
Court; he was not served any court order; as such he had executed
the construction work as usual, and had completed construction
work upto lintel level only; subsequently, further construction was
executed by his successor Sri A.B. Vara Prasad (i.e., respondent
No.11) who completed the remaining work; from the inception of
the execution of the building till its completion, he was not aware
of the filing of the Writ Petition or the interim order granted by the
Court to maintain status quo; if the order of the High Court was
communicated, or brought to his knowledge, he would have
stopped the work forthwith and would have complied with the
order passed by the Court; there is no willful or deliberate
intention  on his part to violate the order of the Court; till he
received the contempt notice, he was unaware of the pendency of
the Writ Petition or the interim order granted by this Court
directing the respondents to maintain status quo; due to
communication gap, the construction work was executed by him;
he has great respect for the orders of Court; and he has not
willfully violated Court orders.
      In his counter-affidavit dated 15.10.2014, Sri A.B. Vara
Prasad (respondent No.11) stated that he worked as the Executive
Engineer, (PR) Karimnagar; he was not made a party to W.P.
No.1686 of 2009, and as such was not aware of passing of the
status quo order by this Court; none of the official respondents in
the Writ Petition informed him of the status quo order passed by
this Court; he was also not served a copy of the order of the Court;
he had, therefore, executed the construction work as usual, and
had completed the left over construction work above the lintel
level; by the time he assumed office on 17.07.2009 as Executive
Engineer, his predecessor had already commenced construction
work and had completed it upto lintel level; had his predecessor
noticed the same, and had he informed him about the status quo
order, he would have stopped construction forthwith; he was
neither aware of the filing of the Writ Petition nor the interim order
passed by this Court; there is no willful or deliberate intention on
his part to violate the order passed by this Court; till he received
the contempt notice, he was unaware of the pendency of the Writ
Petition as well as the interim order passed by this Court; and he
has not violated the orders of Court.

IV. CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS ARE QUASI-CRIMINAL IN          
        NATURE - IN AN UNCLEAR CASE, THE ALLEGED      
        CONTEMNOR IS ENTITLED TO BENEFIT OF DOUBT:      

      In examining the question whether there is contempt of
court or not, the court is both the accuser as well as the judge of
the accusation. It behoves the court to act with as great
circumspection as possible, making all allowances for errors of
judgment. It is only when a clear case of contumacious conduct,
not explainable otherwise, arises that the contemnor must be
punished.  Punishment under the law of contempt is called for
when the lapse is deliberate and in disregard of ones duty and in
defiance of authority. To take action in an unclear case is to make
the law of contempt do duty for other measures and is not to be
encouraged. (Debabrata Bandhopadhyaya v. State of W.B. ;
(Kanwar Singh Saini19). There must be a clear-cut case of
intentional obstruction of administration of justice, to bring the
matter within the ambit of the provisions of the Contempt of
Courts Act. Contempt proceedings are quasi-criminal in nature,
and the standard of proof is the same as in other criminal cases.
The alleged contemnor is entitled to the protection of all
safeguards/rights, including benefit of doubt. (Kanwar Singh
Saini19).
      Mere disobedience of an order is not enough to hold a person
guilty of civil contempt. The element of willingness is an
indispensable requirement to bring home the charge within the
meaning of the Act.  (Patel Rajnikant Dhulabhai7; S.S. Roy v.
State of Orissa ; Indian Airports Employees' Union v. Ranjan
Chatterjee ; Anil Ratan Sarkar6).  Contempt of a civil nature can
be held to have been made out only if there has been a wilful
disobedience of the order.  The Court should not proceed on
assumptions, as the Contempt of Courts Act places emphasis on
the existence of the ingredient of wilful disobedience, before a
person can hauled up for the charge of contempt of a civil nature.
(Dinesh Kumar Gupta v. United India Insurance Co. Ltd., ).  A
proceeding for civil contempt would not be available to proceed
against a party, who acts in good faith without any motive to defeat
or defy the order of the Court, for contempt of court. (Dinesh
Kumar Gupta23).  Unintentional disobedience would not suffice.
Even if the disobedience is established, absence of wilful
disobedience on the part of the contemnor will not justify his being
held guilty. Casual or accidental or unintentional acts of
disobedience, which negate any suggestion of contumacy, would
not render the contemnor liable for punishment. (Dinesh Kumar
Gupta23; Ahmed Ali v. Supdt., District Jail ; B.K. Kar v. High
Court of Orissa ; State of Bihar v. Rani Sonabati Kumari  and
N. Baksi v. O.K. Ghosh ).
      The 9th respondent Smt. Smita Sabharwal joined as the
District Collector, Karimnagar on 18.04.2011, after construction of
the subject building was completed in March, 2011. While she
was, no doubt, holding office when the building was inaugurated
on 10.05.2011, there is no material on record to show that she was
aware of the inauguration, as her name is not even reflected in the
inauguration plaque.  The 9th respondent took action against the
Panchayat Secretary, for violation of the order of this Court dated
03.02.2009, and placed him under suspension by order dated
29.12.2012.  It cannot, therefore, be said that the 9th respondent
has wilfully and deliberately violated the order of this Court.  We
see no reason, therefore, to take action against her under the
Contempt of Courts Act.
      Sri E. Dasaratham, the 10th respondent, was the Executive
Engineer (PR), Karimnagar till 17.07.2009, and is not a party to
the Writ Petition.  There is no material on record to show that any
of the official respondents, or even the petitioner, had intimated
him of the order of this Court.  In the absence of any material on
record to show that he was aware of the order of this Court dated
03.02.2009, and as he was not a party to the Writ Petition, it
cannot be said that he has wilfully or deliberately violated the
order of this Court dated 03.02.2009.  We see no reason, therefore,
to take any action against him under the Contempt of Courts Act.

V. WILFUL DISOBEDIENCE OF THE ORDER OF COURT WOULD              
    AMOUNT TO CONTEMPT OF COURT:      

      The answer to the question, whether the act tantamounts to
wilful disobedience and a lame excuse is offered in order to subvert
compliance of the court order, will depend on the facts and
circumstances of the particular case. (Dinesh Kumar Gupta23).
That the order of this Court dated 03.02.2009 was violated with
impunity for more than two years thereafter, till construction was
completed in March, 2011, is itself proof that the violation was
wilful and deliberate.  The questions, which necessitate
examination is (i) which of the respondents were made known or
were aware of the order of this Court dated 03.02.2009 and yet, by
their action or inaction, had wilfully violated the order of this
Court; and (ii) the nature of punishment to be imposed on them.
      Effective administration of justice would require some
penalty to be imposed for disobedience of orders of the Court if
disobedience is more than casual, accidental or unintentional.
(Heatons Transport Ltd. v. Transport and General Workers
Union ;N.S. Kanwar8). In exercise of its contempt jurisdiction, the
Court is primarily concerned with an enquiry whether the
contemnor is guilty of intentional and wilful violation of the orders
of the court.  (Maninderjit Singh Bitta1).  The wilful element is an
indispensable requirement to bring home the charge within the
meaning of the Act.  (Anil Ratan Sarkar6).  Wilful means an act or
omission which is done voluntarily and with the specific intent to
do something the law forbids or with the specific intent to fail to do
something the law requires to be done, that is to say, with the
purpose of either disobeying or disregarding the law. (Patel
Rajnikant Dhulabhai7; Ashok Paper Kamgar Union v. Dharam  
Godha ). Wilful would exclude casual, accidental, bona fide or
unintentional acts or genuine inability to comply with the terms of
the order. Whether or not disobedience is willful depends on the
facts and circumstances of each case. Even negligence and
carelessness can amount to disobedience. (Kapildeo Prasad
Sah13).
      If a party who is fully in the know of the order of the Court,
or is conscious and aware of the consequences and implications of
the Court's order, ignores it or acts in violation thereof, it must be
held that the disobedience is wilful. It may not be possible to prove
the actual intention behind the act or omission. A Court can
approach the question only objectively, and it may presume the
intention from the act done as every man is presumed to intend
the probable consequence of his act. (N.S. Kanwar8).  To establish
contempt of court, it is sufficient to prove that the conduct was
willful and that the contemnor knew of all the facts which made it
a breach of the order.  It is not necessary to prove that he
appreciated that it did breach the order. (St. Helens Ltd. v.
Transport & General Workers Union ; Adam Phones Ltd v.
Goldschmidt ). While the jurisdiction exercised in cases of
contempt is quasi-criminal in nature and the court must be
satisfied, on the material before it, that contempt of court was in
fact committed, such satisfaction may be derived from the
circumstances of the case. (Ram Autar Shukla v. Arvind
Shukla15; Bank of India v. Vijay Transport ).  For the purposes
of judging 'civil contempt', intention or mens rea is not relevant.
The question is only whether the breach was on account of willful
disobedience i.e, whether it was not casual or accidental and
unintentional. (V.C. Govindaswami Mudali v. B.Subba Reddy ).
      Of late, Courts are coming across several instances where
senior government officers display scant regard for orders of the
court, and offer lame excuses for its violation. (Gurminder Singh
Kang v. Shiv Prasad Singh ). It has become a tendency with
government officers to somehow or the other circumvent the orders
of the court taking recourse to one justification or the other even if,
ex facie, they are unsustainable. This tendency of undermining the
court order should not be countenanced. (Maninderjit Singh
Bitta1; E.T. Sunup v. C.A.N.S.S. Employees Assn. ).
      Bearing these aspects in mind let us now examine which of
the respondents have wilfully violated the order of this Court dated
03.02.2009 and have, thereby, committed contempt of court.
Sri Sandeep Kumar Sultania, the District Collector, Karimnagar
when the order, in W.P. No.1686 of 2009 dated 03.02.2009, was
passed was required not to violate the order of this Court dated
03.03.2009, and to ensure its compliance.  This obligation did not
come to an end merely by his addressing letters to his
subordinates asking them to comply with the order of this Court.
The 1st respondent continued to remain the District Collector,
Karimnagar till he was transferred therefrom on 04.04.2010.  As
noted hereinabove, construction of the building continued not only
after the interim order was passed by this Court on 03.02.2009,
but even after the contempt case was filed on 29.06.2009,
including in the months of October, November and December,
2009.  While the 1st respondent cannot be held responsible for the
construction made in May, 2010, as he was already transferred by
then, his understanding, that his obligations to comply with the
order of this Court ceased on his addressing letters to his
subordinates, is flawed.  It was his obligation to ensure that, in
compliance with the order of this Court dated 03.02.2009, the
construction of the Mahila Mandali building was stopped and
status quo as on 03.02.2009, with respect to construction, was
maintained.
      The assertion of the 1st respondent that he was led to believe
by the report of the District Panchayat Officer dated 15.07.2009,
that the construction was stopped, is not supported by any
material on record.  The letter addressed by the District Panchayat
Officer on 15.07.2009 was to the Government Pleader of the High
Court, and not to the District Collector. A copy of the said letter
dated 15.07.2009 was not even marked to the District Collector.  It
is clear from the additional counter-affidavit filed by him on
21.01.2015 that, it is only in connection with his being required to
file a counter-affidavit in the contempt case in August, 2014, the
1st respondent had requested the District Panchayat Officer to
furnish documents which, evidently, included the letter addressed
by the District Panchayat Officer to the Government Pleader on
15.07.2009.  The 1st respondent has not referred to the contents of
any other report of the District Panchayat Officer, in support of his
claim of having been led to believe that construction of the subject
building was stopped.   The inaction on the part of the 1st
respondent, and his carelessness and negligence which resulted in
the order of this Court dated 03.02.2009 being violated, is not
casual, accidental, bonafide, unintentional or on account of
genuine disability. It would, therefore, amount to wilful
disobedience of the orders of Court.
      After receipt of a copy of the order of this Court on
19.02.2009, Sri N.Rameshwar Raju, the 2nd respondent, directed
the Head Master of the school, by letter dated 25.03.2009, to stop
the illegal construction work. A copy of the letter dated
01.06.2009, addressed by the 7th petitioner to the District
Collector, was also submitted to the District Educational Officer on
the same day i.e. on 01.06.2009. On receipt of the petitioners letter
dated 01.06.2009, the second respondent addressed a letter to the
Sub-Inspector of Police  on 11.06.2009, and to the Superintendent
of Police on 12.06.2009 respectively asking them to stop the illegal
construction.  Just like the 1st respondent, the 2nd respondent also
remained content by addressing letters to the Head Master of the
school and to the police officials.  What is also a matter of concern
is that, in his counter-affidavit, the 2nd respondent should
suppress the fact that he had, by proceedings dated 09.10.2009,
caused an enquiry.  Neither the contents of the enquiry report nor
the conclusion arrived at pursuant thereto have been placed on
record.  After the enquiry was caused on 09.10.2009, it would have
come to light that construction was still being continued, and
action should have been taken at least then.  The fact that an
enquiry was conducted was suppressed from this Court, as no
action was taken even thereafter to stop construction. Government
officials cannot absolve themselves of their obligations to comply
with the order of the Court, and rest content by relegating their
responsibility to their subordinates/others, merely by addressing
letters asking them to comply with the order of the Court.  While
the initial efforts made by the 2nd respondent, in requesting the
headmaster and police officials to comply with the order of the
Court, is in order, his carelessness and negligence thereafter is
evident from his omission to take action, despite receipt of the
petitioners letter dated 01.06.2009, the filing of the contempt case
on 29.06.2009, and the enquiry caused by him in October, 2009,
is disconcerting.  There is no material on record to show what
action the 2nd respondent took after the contempt case was filed on
29.06.2009 complaining of continued violation of the order of this
Court, and that the construction of the building was being
continued even thereafter.  It is clear that the 2nd respondent has
also violated the order of this Court.  His omission to comply with
the order of the Court, not being casual or accidental or bonafide
or unintentional or on account of genuine disability, would amount
to wilful violation of the order dated 03.02.2009, and his having
committed contempt of court.
      The building, which was constructed, is in a part of the
playground of the school of which Sri K.Rajamouli, the 5th
respondent, was the Head Master.  In his counter-affidavit dated
20.09.2013, the 5th respondent admits being aware of the order of
this Court dated 03.02.2009, and submits that, on receipt of the
letter of the District Educational Officer dated 25.03.2009, he had
submitted a representation to the Sub-Inspector of Police
requesting him to stop construction forthwith.  He also admits that
the construction of the subject building was taken up during
Dasara Vacation in October, 2009 and, thereafter, again in May,
2010.  Yet, he chose not even to bring these facts to the notice of
his superiors or, by way of a miscellaneous petition, to the notice
of this Court.  It is only when the construction was nearing
completion that he claims to have addressed a letter to the mandal
educational officer on 21.10.2010.    The 5th respondent failed to
take any action to stop construction, despite being aware of the
fact that the order of this Court was being violated.  His omission
to comply with the order of the Court, not being casual or
accidental or bonafide or unintentional or on account of genuine
disability, would amount to wilful disobedience of the order of this
Court.
      Smt.K.Lalitha, the 6th respondent, disclaims knowledge of
the interim order passed by this Court dated 03.02.2009 when, in
fact, the Legal Cell of the District Collector issued note dated
28.02.2009 informing her of the interim order passed by this Court
on 03.02.2009.  Thereafter, the Panchayat Secretary addressed a
letter to her on 07.03.2009 informing her of the Court order.  She
seeks to take advantage of the fact that the petitioners had wrongly
mentioned the name of the President of the 6th respondent-Mahila
Sangham as Sri Hari Chand, and the subsequent correction of the
cause title in the Contempt Case.  She was well aware of the order
passed by this Court, and that the building was continued to be
constructed by the Sarpanch ever after the interim order of this
Court.  The fact, however, remains that funds were released by
government officials, the construction was supervised by the
Engineering Wing of the Panchayat Raj Department, and the 6th
respondent had no role to play in this regard.  Her contention that
she did not take any steps in the construction process does appear
to be true.  Though she was aware of the order of this Court, the
6th respondent did little to inform the authorities concerned of the
continued violation of the order of this Court dated 03.02.2009.
Her omission to comply with the order of the Court, not being
casual or accidental or bonafide or unintentional or on account of
genuine disability, would amount to wilful disobedience of the
order of the Court, necessitating punishment being imposed on her
under the Contempt of Courts Act.
      Smt.G.D.Aruna, I.A.S, the 8th respondent, worked as the
District Collector, Karimnagar from 04.04.2010 to 17.04.2011.  As
noted hereinabove, she took charge of the office of the District
Collector more than a year after the order of this Court dated
03.02.2009.  The fact, however, remains that the said order of this
Court dated 03.02.2009 continues to remain in force till date, and
the District Collector is a party to the Writ Petition.  The violation
of the order of this Court continued for nearly a year during the
period when the 8th respondent held the office of the District
Collector, as the construction of the subject building was
completed only in March, 2011.
      It was the responsibility of the 8th respondent, as the District
Collector, to ensure that she was appraised by her subordinates of
the orders of Court.  Except to state that she was not informed, no
action appears to have been taken by her against her subordinates
for their alleged failure to inform her of the order of this Court.
Accepting the submission of the 8th respondent, that failure of her
subordinates to inform her of the order of this Court would absolve
her of contempt, would require this Court to refrain from taking
action, under the Contempt of Courts Act, whenever there is a
change in office and a new officer is appointed in the place of the
earlier incumbent.  Whoever be the District Collector, during the
period when the order of this Court was in force, is responsible for
its violation. It is difficult to accept the submission of the eighth
respondent that she was unaware of the order of this Court as her
name is reflected in the inauguration plaque laid in connection
with the inauguration of building on 10.05.2011.  Her failure to
comply with the order of the Court, not being casual or accidental
or bonafide or unintentional or on account of genuine disability,
would amount to wilful disobedience of the orders of Court.
      In his letter addressed to the Government Pleader on
15.07.2009, Sri V.Venkateswarlu (the 3rd respondent-District
Panchayat Officer) stated that he had directed the Panchayat
Secretary, Challoor Gram Panchayat to comply with the High
Court order, to stop the construction, and to maintain status quo;
pursuant to the telephonic instructions, he had proceeded to
Challoor Gram Panchayat and had inspected the spot on
15.07.2009, along with the Divisional Panchayat Officer,
Karimnagar; during spot inspection it was observed that status quo
was being maintained, and the construction position was as it was
on 07.03.2009; the villagers, Sarpanch, Panchayat Secretary and
the Head Master of the School, including the office bearer of the
Mahila Swasakti Sangham, were present during the spot
inspection; and no construction was taken up after 07.03.2009.
      In his counter-affidavit dated 16.07.2009, filed both on
behalf of the District Collector and himself, the third respondent
suppressed the fact of his having visited the construction site on
15.07.2009 to ascertain the extent of construction. It is only after a
counter-affidavit was filed by the 1st respondent on 21.08.2014
and by Sri K. Lingaiah (the District Educational Officer) on
10.04.2013, referring to the inspection caused by the District
Panchayat Officer on 15.07.2009, that an additional counter-
affidavit was filed by the 3rd respondent in November, 2014
referring to his inspection on 15.07.2009.  What is even more
disconcerting is that the 3rd respondent-District Panchayat Officer
sought to mislead this Court stating that, as on 15.07.2009, the
status quo order passed by this Court on 03.02.2009 had been
implemented in its true letter and spirit.  While he has asserted in
his additional counter-affidavit, that he had asked the 2nd and the
5th respondents, by his letter dated 07.03.2009, to stop
construction and take photographs showing the construction on
that day, he has neither placed copies of such photographs before
us nor has he furnished details of the extent the building was
constructed by 03.02.2009 or, for that matter, the extent of
construction thereafter till 15.07.2009.
      It is evident from the letter of the petitioner to the 3rd
respondent on 01.06.2009, and the photographs enclosed along
with the contempt case, that construction of the building
continued after the order of this Court dated 03.02.2009.  The
counter-affidavit of the 1st respondent refers to measurement, of
the construction of the building, having been taken between
18.12.2008 and 20.07.2009.  The counter-affidavits of respondents
10 and 11 show that the building was constructed upto lintel level
by 17.07.2009.  It is evident that the District Panchayat Officer has
sought to suppress the fact that construction of the subject
building continued even after the order of this Court dated
03.02.2009, and to mislead this Court by contending otherwise,
only to avoid being punished under the Contempt of Courts Act.
As the 3rd respondent, who was aware of the order of this Court
dated 03.02.2009, and of its consequences and implications, has
failed to ensure its compliance and, in addition, has sought to
mislead this Court, he must be held to have wilfully disobeyed the
order of Court and to have committed contempt of court.
      As stated by him in his counter-affidavit dated 15.10.2014,
Sri A.B. Varaprasad, the eleventh respondent, worked as the
Executive Engineer (PR) Karimnagar from 17.07.2009 onwards. By
his letter dated 27.10.2010, the 7th petitioner informed the 11th
respondent that, despite the interim order of the High Court, illegal
construction of the building  was being continued. He requested
that the bills, relating to the concerned work, be stopped in view of
the order of the status quo passed by the High Court.   A copy of
the said letter dated 27.10.2010 was delivered at the office of the
Executive Engineer (PR) on the same day, and receipt thereof was
acknowledged. By his letter dated 17.11.2009, the 7th petitioner
informed the eleventh respondent that construction of the Mahila
Mandali building was started in the land of the primary school,
and some work had been done; the said land was necessary for
construction of additional classrooms; as such stay orders were
obtained from the High Court, and construction work of the Mahila
Mandali building was to be stopped.  The 7th petitioner requested
the 11th respondent to provide information, among others,
whether, after stoppage of construction of the Mahila Mandali
building located in school area, there was any possibility to allot
the same to the Urdu medium school or as an additional class
room to the school or Anganwadi School or library;  whether there
was any possibility of construction of the Mahila Mandali building
in some other convenient and undisputed place; and whether the
funds which were earlier sanctioned by him, for construction of the
Mahila Mandali building, could be permitted for its construction at
some other undisputed land.
      In reply thereto the eleventh respondent, by his letter dated
30.11.2009, furnished information with regards construction of the
Mahila Mandali building in Challoor village, including that the
construction of the building was completed upto roof level and,
with the permission of the District Collector, the said building
would be allotted as additional class room or Anganwadi school or
library building; the Mahila Mandali building would be constructed
somewhere else with the permission of the District Collector; and
construction permission would be given, if permitted.
      In his counter-affidavit dated 21.08.2014, the District
Collector stated that, despite the facts being brought to his notice
by the petitioner, the Executive Engineer (PR) had violated the
order of the High Court, and had made payment to the contractor-
Sarpanch (Chairman of the Works Committee); the Executive
Engineer (PR), who is the executing agency, did not bother about
the status-quo order of the High Court, and did not stop the work
even after being informed by the petitioner; and, though he was
aware of the High Court order, the Executive Engineer (PR) did not
restrain the contractor from making further construction.
      It is evident that the 7th petitioner had informed the 11th
respondent, by his letter dated 17.11.2009, that stay order had
been obtained from the High Court for stopping construction of the
Mahila Mandali building.  Receipt of the said letter dated
17.11.2009 is acknowledged by the eleventh respondent in his
reply letter dated 30.11.2009.  The 11th respondent was aware of
the order of this Court atleast from 17.11.2009 when the 7th
petitioner informed him thereof by way of an application filed
under the Right to Information Act.  Yet, as the executing agency,
he permitted construction to be continued and also sought to
mislead this Court stating on oath that he was unaware of the
order of this Court. His assertion of not being aware of the High
Court order is false, and has been made only to avoid being
proceeded against under the Contempt of Courts Act.  As noted
hereinabove, construction of the building continued till March,
2011 and, for the period from 17.07.2009 till March, 2011, it was
the 11th respondent who was the executing agency for construction
of the subject building.  It is evident that, despite being aware of
the order of this Court, the 11th respondent chose not to take any
action to stop the construction.  His failure to comply with the
order of the Court, not being casual or accidental or bonafide or
unintentional or on account of genuine disability, is a wilful
violation of the order of this Court.
      It is the case of Sri Syed Maqbool Raza, the Panchayat
Secretary, Challoor Gram Panchayat, (the 4th respondent) that he
had informed the District Panchayat Officer, by his letter dated
07.03.2009, that the construction of the building had been
stopped in compliance with the High Court order; he had informed
the District Panchayat Officer, by his letter dated 30.03.2012, that
the subject building was constructed with the funds of department
of woman and child welfare, the zilla parishad and the collectors
special funds; though it was to the knowledge of the president of
the sixth respondent and the contractor, that a case was pending
in the Court regarding construction on the site, still construction
was carried out; he had immediately responded, and had issued
notice to them through the Village Panchayat Officer; and still the
contractor carried out the work during night time, and had
completed the same.
      The Executive Officer, P.R. Division, Veenavanka informed
the Divisional Panchayat Officer, by his letter dated 19.11.2010,
that the Panchayat Secretary had stated, in the enquiry caused by
him, that he and Sarpanch had issued notice dated 07.03.2009 to
the 6th respondent to obey the order of the High Court and to stop
construction work, the construction was stopped by the time he
received the stay order of the High Court, construction was
undertaken and completed on the days when he was on leave from
24.11.2009 to 27.11.2009 suffixing holidays on 28.11.2009 and
29.11.2009, and the said work was undertaken during night time,
and not during the day.  The Executive Officer concluded that the
Panchayat Secretary had served the notice on the 6th respondent
as a mere formality and there was no evidence of any initiative on
his part to stop construction, he did not intimate the work status
to his competent higher officers to take necessary action, and he
had failed to file a case against the construction supervisor, and
take steps to stop further construction.  By proceedings dated
29.12.2012, Smt. Smita Sabharwal, I.A.S, the then District
Collector, Karimnagar, placed the Panchayat Secretary under
suspension for having failed to implement the order of this Court
dated 03.02.2009.
        The 4th respondent-Panchayat Secretary, Challoor Gram
Panchayat could not have been unaware of the building being
constructed by the Sarpanch, Challoor gram panchayat with whom
he was working.  He also falsely stated, in his counter-affidavit
dated 11.08.2009, (evidently to support the stand of the District
Panchayat Officer), that construction was completed upto roof level
before the interim order was passed by this Court on 03.02.2009.
As stated hereinabove, pillars were laid and walls on two sides
were raised after the interim order was passed by this Court and,
even by 17.07.2009, construction was only upto the lintel level.  It
is only in December, 2009, more than 9 months after the interim
order dated 03.02.2009, that the building was constructed upto
the roof level.
      The report of the Executive Officer dated 19.11.2012 records
the submission of the Panchayat Secretary that the building was
constructed during nights, and on the days when he was on leave
from 24.11.2009 to 29.11.2009.  Even if this highly exaggerated
claim were to be believed, the Panchayat Secretary should have,
atleast thereafter, brought these facts to the notice of his superior
officers, and should have informed them that construction of the
subject building was not stopped, and the order of this Court
dated 03.02.2009 continued to be violated.  In his report dated
19.11.2010, the Executive Officer (PR) has opined that the
Panchayat Secretary had served the notice dated 07.03.2009 as a
mere formality, he did not take any initiative to stop the
construction, and he did not intimate the work status to his
superiors for taking necessary action.  The omission of the 4th
respondent to comply with the order of the Court, not being casual
or accidental or bonafide or unintentional or on account of genuine
disability, would amount to wilful disobedience of the order of this
Court dated 03.02.2009.
      A note dated 28.02.2009 was issued by the District
Collector, among others, to Sri J.Narayan Goud, the 7th
respondent-Sarpanch Challoor Gram Panchayat, directing that the
order of the High Court should be complied with, and the Legal
Cell of the District Collectors Office should be intimated
immediately.  The District Panchayat Officer, by his letter dated
07.03.2009, directed the Panchayat Secretary, Challoor Gram
Panchayat to duly implement the order of the Court.  A copy
thereof was marked to the Sarpanch, Challoor Gram Panchayat.
The proceedings of the Executive Officer, P.R. Division,
Veenavanka dated 19.11.2010 records the Panchayat Secretary as  
having stated, in the enquiry held by him, that he and Sarpanch
had issued notice dated 07.03.2009 to the 6th respondent to obey
the orders of the High Court, and to stop the construction work.
      In his counter-affidavit dated 05.09.2014, the Sarpanch did
not deny receipt of the note dated 28.02.2009 from the District
Collectors Legal Cell or of receipt of a copy of the letter dated
07.03.2009 addressed by the District Panchayat Officer to the
Panchayat Secretary.  He has, guardedly, stated that he did not
receive a representation from the petitioner, and that the
Superintending Engineer (PR) and the Executive Engineer (PR) did
not ask him to stop the work.  While the Sarpanch was not a party
to the Writ Petition, he was nonetheless required to comply with
the order of this Court dated 03.02.2009 on his being made aware
thereof both by the District Collector and the District Panchayat
Officer.  Every person, be it a party to a lis before the court and
even otherwise, must obey orders of the Court, in its true letter
and spirit, with due respect for the institution. (Maninderjit Singh
Bitta1).
                  In his counter-affidavit dated 21.08.2014, the District
Collector stated that the Sarpanch was also the Chairman of the
School Development Committee, the Chairman of the Works  
Committee of the Gram Panchayat and the contractor who
executed the work of construction of the subject building; and his
letter to the Deputy Educational Officer dated 20.02.2010 showed
that, though he was aware of the orders of the High Court, he had
willfully carried on construction work, and received payment; and,
though clear instructions were issued, the Contractor, who is the
Sarpanch  and the Chairman of Works Committee, had willfully
carried out the work violating the order of this Court dated
03.02.2009.  In the additional counter-affidavit filed on
21.01.2015, the 1st respondent-District Collector stated that, at his
request, the District Panchayat Officer had obtained the entire
record from the Challur Gram Panchayat, and had furnished the
relevant papers to him; on perusing the entire record, he thought it
fit to bring to the notice of this Court, the contents of the letter
dated 20.02.2010.  In his counter-affidavit dated 10.04.2013, Sri
K. Lingaiah (the District Educational Officer, Karimnagar, after Sri
N. Rameshwara Raju) stated that the action of the Sarpanch in
constructing the Mahila Swasakti Sangham Building was against
the rules.
      By his letter dated 20.02.2010, the Sarpanch informed the
Deputy Educational Officer that, after commencement of the
construction work of the Mahila Swasakti Sangham building,
some persons had caused obstruction to the construction by filing
a petition in the Court, and had brought a stay against the opinion
of the villagers, and for their political benefit; they had stopped the
construction work in many ways; and, as per the wishes of the
public, the construction work of the building was almost
completed, even after facing all obstacles. The Sarpanch requested
that the building, which was almost completed, be handed over to
the Mahila Swasakti Sangham.
      Sri J. Narayana Goud, the 7th respondent-Sarpanch, sought
to explain the circumstances in which the letter dated 20.02.2010
came into being, stating, in his counter-affidavit dated 05.09.2014,
that, after construction was almost completed, he had approached
the Executive Engineer (PR) for payment of the bills; the Executive
Engineer had instructed him to approach the Deputy District
Educational Officer, and get clearance from him in order to get
payment; he had approached the Deputy District Educational
Officer, Karimnagar who got prepared a letter, purporting to have
been written by him and addressed to the Deputy District
Educational Officer; the Deputy District Educational Officer had
asked him to sign the letter and submit it; on reading the letter
from the penultimate para, he found a reference to the stay order
of the Court, and obstruction of the work; he had objected to the
said contents as he was not aware of any prohibitory orders of the
Court; the Deputy District Educational Officer stated that, unless
he signed the letter as prepared by him, he would not get payment;
only upon going through the letter dated 20.02.2010, did he come
to know about the interim order passed by the High Court, and not
earlier; and the Superintending Engineer (PR) and the Executive
Engineer (PR), due to political pressure, exerted pressure on him
continuously to complete the construction work as the concerned
Minister  was stated to be interested in early completion of the
work.
      It is evident that the justification offered by the Sarpanch in
his counter-affidavit dated 05.09.2014, for his admission in the
letter dated 20.02.2010 of being aware of the order of this Court
dated 03.02.2009 and of his deliberate violation thereof, is only to
avoid being punished for contempt.  If as is now contended, that he
was forced to sign the letter dated 20.02.2010, nothing prevented
the Sarpanch from informing the authorities soon thereafter of the
circumstances under which he had signed the said letter. His
silence for more than four and half years thereafter, till he filed his
counter-affidavit on 05.09.2014, and that too only after these facts
were brought to the notice of this Court by the District Collector in
his counter-affidavit dated 21.08.2014, belies his claim of having
signed the letter dated 21.02.2010 under threat of non-payment of
the bills for the work executed by him.  His brazen act of continued
construction of the subject building, despite being informed of the
order of this Court dated 03.02.2009, for more than two years
thereafter till its completion in March, 2011 must be sternly dealt
with. No lenience can be shown for such flagrant disobedience of,
and the wilful and deliberate violation of, the orders of this Court.

VI. APOLOGY CANNOT BE ACCEPTED AS A MATTER OF            
       COURSE:

      It is no doubt true that all the respondents in this contempt
case have either sought pardon or have tendered their
unconditional apology.  Section 12(1) of the Contempt of Courts
Act, and the Explanation thereto, enable the Court to remit the
punishment awarded for committing contempt of court on an
apology being made to the satisfaction of the court.  An apology
should not be rejected merely on the ground that it is qualified or
tendered at a belated stage if the accused makes it bona fide.
However a conduct which abuses, and makes a mockery of, the  
judicial process of the court must be dealt with an iron hand. (Bal
Kishan Giri v. State of U.P., ).  An apology can neither be a
defence nor a justification for an act which tantamounts to
contempt of court. An apology can be accepted in cases where the
conduct, for which the apology is given, is such that it can be
ignored without compromising the dignity of the court, or it is
intended to be evidence of real contrition. It should be sincere.
Apology cannot be accepted in case it is hollow, there is no
remorse, no regret, no repentance, or if it is only a device to escape
the rigour of the law. Such an apology is merely a paper apology.
(Bal Kishan Giri36).
      An apology tendered is not to be accepted as a matter of
course, and the court is competent to reject the apology and
impose the punishment recording reasons therefor. (Bal Kishan
Giri36).  Even if the apology is not belated, but is found to be
without real contrition and remorse, and to have been tendered
merely as a weapon of defence, the court may refuse to accept it. If
the apology is offered at the time when the contemnor finds that
the court is going to impose punishment, it ceases to be an apology
and becomes an act of a cringing coward. (Bal Kishan Giri36;
Debabrata Bandopadhyay20; Mulk Raj v. State of Punjab ,
Hailakandi Bar Assn. v. State of Assam , C. Elumalai v. A.G.L.
Irudayaraj  and Ranveer Yadav v. State of Bihar ). A mere
statement of apology by the contemnor before the court would
hardly amount to his purging himself of contempt. The Court must
be satisfied of the genuineness of the apology. If the court is so
satisfied, and on this basis accepts the apology as genuine, it
should pass an order holding that the contemnor has purged
himself of contempt.  (Pravin C. Shah v. K.A. Mohd. Ali ).
      An apology is not intended to operate as a universal
panacea. (M.Y. Shareef v. Judges of Nagpur High Court ;
Pravin C. Shah41; T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad (102)2). It is
not a weapon of defence forged to purge the guilty of the offence,
but is intended to be evidence of real contrition, the consciousness
of a wrong done, of an injury inflicted, and the earnest desire to
make such reparation as lies in the wrongdoers power. (Delhi
Development Authority18). Only then is it of any avail in a court
of justice. Unless that is done, not only is the tendered apology
robbed of all grace but it also ceases to be a full and frank
admission of a wrong done, which it is intended to be. (Hiren
Bose, Re ; Patel Rajnikant Dhulabhai7).  The apology tendered
by the contemnor, to be accepted by the Court, should be a
product of remorse. (M.C. Mehta v. Union of India ). Public
interest demands that when a person has interfered with the
judicial process, the judicial decision should not be pre-empted or
circumvented merely by a conditional or an unconditional apology.
While it is open to the Court, in an appropriate case, to accept an
unconditional apology based on the factual position, dropping the
proceeding of contumacious acts deliberately done, after accepting
the apology offered, would be a premium for the flagrant abuse of
the judicial process. (Ram Autar Shukla15).
        In L.D. Jaikwal v. State of U.P. , the Supreme Court
observed:-
We are sorry to say we cannot subscribe to the slapsay sorry    
and forget school of thought in administration of contempt jurisprudence.
Saying sorry does not make the person taking the slap smart less upon
the said hypocritical word being uttered. Apology shall not be paper
apology and expression of sorrow should come from the heart and not from
the pen. For it is one thing to say sorryit is another to feel sorry
(emphasis supplied).

        The apology tendered by the respondents is neither a
product of remorse nor is there any evidence of real contrition on
their part. It is but a lofty expression used only to avoid being
committed for contempt. Accepting such an apology, in the facts of
the present case, would result in the contemnors going scot free
after committing gross contempt of Court.

VII. IN NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES ONLY A SENTENCE OF FINE            
      SHOULD BE IMPOSED  DISTINCTION BETWEEN PASSIVE          
      AND ACTIVE DISOBEDIENCE IS RELEVANT IN THIS      
      CONTEXT:

      The next question which arises for consideration is the
nature and extent of penalty to be imposed on the respondents-
contemnors on their being found guilty of contempt.  There is an
element of public policy in punishing civil contempt, since the
administration of justice would be undermined if the order of a
Court of law is disregarded with impunity.  (Patel Rajnikant
Dhulabhai7; Attorney General v. Times Newspaper Ltd ).  The
power to punish for contempt is intended to maintain an effective
legal system, and is exercised to prevent perversion of the course of
justice.  (Kapildeo Prasad Sah13 Patel Rajnikant Dhulabhai7).
There are certain well recognized principles which govern the
exercise of power and jurisdiction to punish for contempt.  The
power to commit for contempt will not be used for the vindication
of a Judge as a person, but only with a view to protect the interests
of the public for whose benefit, and for the protection of whose
rights and liberties, the courts exist and function.  Another factor
which a High Court will take into consideration, in exercising its
contempt jurisdiction, is to ascertain whether the contempt is
merely technical, slight or trifling in character. If it is so the Court
will be satisfied with an expression of genuine regret and will not
proceed to inflict punishment on the contemnor.  (Advocate
General, Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad v. V. Ramana Rao ).
      It is not only the power but the duty of the court to uphold
and maintain the dignity of courts and the majesty of law which
may call for the extreme step of punishing the person for contempt
of court.  For proper administration of justice, and to ensure due
compliance with the orders passed by it, the Court would not
hesitate in wielding the potent weapon of contempt.  (Patel
Rajnikant Dhulabhai7).  The summary jurisdiction, exercised by
Superior Courts, in punishing contempt of their authority exists in
order to prevent interference with the course of justice; to maintain
the authority of law as is administered in the Court; and thereby
protect the public interest in ensuring the purity of administration
of justice (Hira Lal Dixit v. State of U.P. ).
      While awarding sentence on a contemnor, the Court does so
to uphold the majesty of the law and to ensure that the unflinching
faith of people in Courts remains intact. If the guilty are let off, and
their sentence remitted on grounds of mercy, people would lose
faith in the administration of justice. The Court is duty-bound to
award proper punishment to uphold the rule of law, however high
the person may be. (J. Vasudevan v. T.R. Dhananjaya ). There
cannot be any laxity, as otherwise law courts would render their
orders to utter mockery. Tolerance of law courts there is, but not
without limits and only upto a point and not beyond. (Anil Ratan
Sarkar6). The law should not be seen to sit by limply, while those
who defy it go free and those who seek its protection lose hope.
(Jennison5).
        Under Section 12(1) of the Contempt of Courts Act, save as
otherwise expressly provided in the Act or any other law, a
contempt of court may be punished with simple imprisonment for
a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may
extend to two thousand rupees or with both. Under Section 12(3),
notwithstanding anything contained in Section 12, where a person
is found guilty of civil contempt the Court, if it considers that a fine
will not meet the ends of justice and that a sentence of
imprisonment is necessary shall, instead of sentencing him to
simple imprisonment, direct that he be detained in civil prison for
such period not exceeding six months as it may think fit. Section
13(a) postulates no punishment for contemptuous conduct in
certain cases and, unless the Court is satisfied that the contempt
is of such a nature that the act complained of substantially
interferes with the due course of justice, the question of imposing
punishment would not arise. It is evident from Section 12(3), read
with 13(a), of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 that the
Legislature intended that a sentence of fine should be imposed in
normal circumstances, (Smt. Pushpaben v. Narandas v.
Badiani ), and a sentence of imprisonment should be restricted to
cases where the contumacious act is of such magnitude that a
mere sentence of fine would not suffice. The jurisdiction in
contempt is seldom exercised by courts except when they find that,
in addition to failure to comply with their orders, obstruction has
been caused to their primary function of administering justice as
authorities charged with that function.  (Dulal Chandra Bhar v.
Sukumar Banerjee ).
      It is not enough that there should be some technical
contempt of court.  It must be shown that the act of contempt had
substantially interfered with the due course of justice which has
been equated with due administration of justice.  Substantial
interference with the course of justice is the requirement for
imposition of punishment.  The Contempt of Courts Act places an
obligation on the Court to assess the situation itself as regards the
factum of any interference with the due course of justice or of
obstructing the administration of justice. (Murray & Co. v. Ashok
Kr. Newatia ).  Anyone who deflects the course of judicial
proceedings, or sullies the pure stream of the judicial process,
must be held to have interfered with the due course of justice, and
to have obstructed administration of justice. Such persons must be
punished not only for the wrong done, but also to deter others
from indulging in similar acts which shake the faith of people in
the system of administration of justice. (Chandra Shashi v. Anil
Kumar Verma ; Dhananjay Sharma v. State of Haryana ).
      In this context the distinction between active and passive
disobedience must be taken note of.  There may be cases of
disobedience where the contemnor flouts the orders of the court
openly, intentionally and with no respect for the rule of law.  In
other cases of civil contempt, disobedience may be the
consequence of a dormant or passive behaviour on the part of the
contemnor. Such would be the case where the contemnor does not  
take steps, and just remains unmoved by the directions of the
court.  Even in cases where no positive/active role is directly
attributable to a person, still his passive and dormant attitude of
inaction may result in violation of the orders of the court, and may
render him liable for an action of contempt.  (Maninderjit Singh
Bitta1). Disobedience of court orders by positive or active
contribution, or non-obedience by a passive and dormant conduct,
leads to the same result. (Maninderjit Singh Bitta1).  It is not the
offence of contempt which gets altered by a passive/negative, or an
active/positive, behaviour of the contemnor. It is only a relevant
consideration for imposition of punishment, wherever the
contemnor is found guilty of contempt of court. (Maninderjit
Singh Bitta1).
      While Sri Sandeep Kumar Sultania, the 1st respondent, is no
doubt guilty of contempt, this Court must, in examining the nature
of punishment to be imposed on him, take into consideration the
fact that the 1st respondent has, in the counter-affidavits filed by
him, placed on record several proceedings which show that the
Sarpanch, Challoor Gram Panchayat (respondent No.7), and the
Executive Engineer (PR) (respondent No.11), had proceeded with
construction in violation of the order of this Court; the Panchayat
Secretary (respondent No.4) had suppressed information, regarding
construction of the building, from his superiors; and the Sarpanch
(respondent No.7) had, in his letter dated 20.02.2010, informed the
Deputy District Educational Officer that he had proceeded with
construction inspite of the order of this Court and had completed
construction of the building. The 1st respondent has, on his own
accord, assisted this Court in identifying those officials who have
committed gross contempt.  This Court would, therefore, not be
justified in imposing on him the sentence of imprisonment.  It
would suffice, instead, if the punishment of sentence of fine of
Rs.2,000/- is imposed on him for his wilful disobedience of the
order of this Court.
      Since Sri N. Rameshwar Raju, the 2nd respondent, did not
play an active part in the construction of the subject building, and
his role was of passive indifference and neglect.  It would suffice,
instead of sentencing him to undergo imprisonment, to impose on
him the punishment of sentence of fine of Rs.2,000/-. While Sri
K.Rajamouli, the 5th respondent, may not have played an active
role in the construction of the building, his passive role in not
taking any action, despite being aware of construction being
continued, would necessitate his being punished under the
Contempt of Courts Act.  While a sentence of imprisonment may
not be justified, it would be just and proper that he is imposed the
punishment of sentence of fine of Rs.2,000/-. Considering the fact
that Smt.K.Lalitha (the 6th respondent) is working as an
Anganwadi Aaya in Challoor village, and it does appear that she
was merely a figure head President of the Mahila Sangham, it
would suffice if, instead of imprisonment, punishment of sentence
of fine of Rs.1000/- is imposed on her.  As Smt.G.D.Aruna, IAS,
the 8th respondent, did not play an active part in the construction
of the building, and as she has asserted that she neither
sanctioned any work nor did she release any funds during her
tenure as the District Collector, Karimnagar, she is imposed the
punishment of sentence of fine of Rs.2,000/-.

VIII. FLAGRANT VIOLATIONS, WHICH MAKE A MOCKERY OF          
        THE ORDER OF THE COURT, WOULD NECESSITATE        
        STRINGENT PUNISHMENT BEING IMPOSED:      

      While Courts are not hypersensitive, and ordinarily impose a
sentence of fine as punishment for contempt, respondents 3, 4, 7
and 11 have interfered with the administration of justice, and have
made a mockery of the order of this Court.  These respondents, by
their contumacious acts, have willfully disobeyed the order of the
Court.  Such open defiance of the order of the Court is contempt of
such a nature as to have substantially interfered with the due
course of justice for which imposition of a sentence of fine alone
would not meet the ends of justice.  Such flagrant violation of the
orders of the Court must be dealt with sternly.  In our considered
opinion, on the facts and in the circumstances of this case,
imposition of fine on respondents 3, 11, 4 and 7, in lieu of
imprisonment, will not meet the ends of justice. (Patel Rajnikant
Dhulabhai7).  Where public interest demands, the Court will not
shrink from exercising its power to impose punishment even by
way of imprisonment, in cases where a mere fine may not be
adequate, to let people know that they cannot, with impunity,
hinder or obstruct or attempt to hinder or obstruct the due course
of administration of justice. (Hira Lal Dixit48).
      While failure of Sri V.Venkateswarlu (3rd respondent-District
Panchayat Officer) to comply with the order of this Court, and his
resting content with merely addressing letters to his subordinates,
may have justified imposing on him the punishment of a sentence
of fine alone, his attempt to mislead this Court by informing the
Government Pleader, in his letter dated 15.07.2009, that there was
no construction after 03.02.2009, and his false assertion in his
additional counter-affidavit filed in November, 2014 that, during
inspection on 15.07.2009, he observed that the status quo order of
the High Court dated 03.02.2009 had been implemented in its true
letter and spirit, would require stringent action being taken against
him. Unscrupulous and devious methods, adopted to circumvent
and defeat orders of courts, must be curbed. (Rajappa
Hanamantha Ranoji v. Mahadev Hannabasappa ).  As the order
of this Court has not only been wilfully disobeyed, but the third
respondent has also suppressed material facts, and has attempted
to mislead this Court, a sentence of imprisonment is warranted.
As the 3rd respondent has since retired from service, we consider it
appropriate to impose on him the sentence of imprisonment for 15
days and with fine of Rs.2,000/-.
      While punishment of fine may have otherwise sufficed, Sri
A.B.Varaprasad, the 11th respondent, has also sought to mislead
this Court stating that he was unaware of the order dated
03.02.2009, though he was.  We consider it appropriate, therefore,
to impose on him the sentence of imprisonment for 15 days, and
with fine of Rs.2,000/-.
      While the District Collector, Karimnagar had, no doubt,
placed Sri Syed Maqbool Raja, the 4th respondent, under
suspension on 29.12.2012, a deterrent punishment must be
imposed on him, not only for his wilful violation of the order of this
Court, but also to let government servants know that their wilfully
abetting and aiding violation of court orders would result in
stringent action being taken against them, as the majesty of the
law must be upheld. We consider it appropriate, therefore, to
impose on the 4th respondent-Panchayat Secretary the sentence of
imprisonment for a period of one month and with fine of
Rs.2,000/-.
      Not only was Sri J.Narayan Goud, the 7th respondent, aware
of the order of this Court dated 03.02.2009, but he also
consciously and with the wilful intention of flouting the orders of
this Court, proceeded with construction of the subject building for
more than two years thereafter till it was completed in March,
2011.  His brazen acts of violation of, and his utter disregard for,
the order of this court is an affront to the majesty of law.  A
sentence of fine alone would not suffice and, considering the
gravity of his offence, we consider it appropriate to impose on him
the stringent punishment of sentence of imprisonment for a period
of two months and with fine of Rs.2,000/-.

IX. CONCLUSION:  
        Smt. Smita Sabharwal, I.A.S. (the ninth respondent) and Sri
E. Dasaratham, Superintending Engineer (PR) (the tenth
respondent) cannot be said to have willfully violated the order of
this Court dated 03.02.2009 and, consequently, contempt
proceedings initiated against them are dropped.  Sri Sandeep
Kumar Sultania, I.A.S. (the first respondent-District Collector), Sri
N. Rameshwar Raju (the 2nd respondent-District Educational
Officer), Sri K. Rajamouli (the 5th respondent-Headmaster of the
School), Smt. K. Lalitha (the 6th respondent-President of the Mahila
Sangham) and Smt. G.D. Aruna, I.A.S. (the 8th respondent-District
Collector, Karimnagar) are guilty of wilful disobedience of the order
of this Court dated 03.02.2009.  Since their disobedience is
passive, and their inaction has resulted in violation of the order of
the Court, they are imposed a sentence of fine.  While respondents
1, 2, 5 and 8 shall pay a fine of Rs.2,000/- each, respondent No.6
shall pay a fine of Rs.1,000/-.  These respondents shall pay the
fine, as directed hereinabove, within four weeks from today failing
which they shall undergo the sentence of imprisonment for three
days each.
      Sri V. Venkateswarlu (the 3rd respondent-District Panchayat
Officer) and Sri A.B. Varaprasad (Executive Engineer (PR)) have not
only violated the orders of this Court, but have also
misrepresented/suppressed material facts before this Court only to
avoid being punished for contempt.  They shall be detained in civil
prison for fifteen days, and shall pay a fine of Rs.2,000/- each
within four weeks from today, failing which they shall undergo the
sentence of imprisonment for a further period of three days.
      Sri Syed Maqbool Raza, (the fourth respondent-Panchayat
Secretary) has aided and abetted Sri J.Narayan Goud (the 7th
respondent- Sarpanch) in proceeding with construction in utter
disregard for the order of this Court dated 03.02.2009.  He shall be
detained in civil prison for a period of one month and shall pay a
fine of Rs.2,000/- within four weeks from today failing which he
shall undergo imprisonment for a further period of three days.  Sri
J. Narayan Goud (the 7th respondent Sarpanch) has not only
flouted the order of this Court but has also continued with and
completed construction of the building in open defiance of the
order of this Court.  He has, by his brazen acts of obstruction of
administration of justice, made a mockery of the order of this
Court dated 03.02.2009.  He shall, therefore, be detained in civil
prison for a period of two months and shall pay a fine of
Rs.2,000/- within four weeks from today, failing which he shall
undergo imprisonment for a further period of three days.
      As required under Rule 32(1) of the Contempt of Court
Rules, 1980, respondents 3, 4, 7 and 11 shall be entitled to
subsistence allowance, in accordance with their status, during the
period of their detention in civil prison.  The subsistence allowance
for respondents 3 and 11 is fixed at Rs.1,000/- per day, and for
respondents 4 and 7 at Rs.750/- per day.  The State Government
shall bear the cost of the subsistence allowance payable to
respondents 3, 4, 7 and 11.  The contempt case is, accordingly,
disposed of.  The miscellaneous petitions pending, if any, shall also
stand disposed of.

_____________________________    
RAMESH RANGANATHAN, J      
________________________  
CHALLA KODANDA RAM, J      
Date:  17.07.2015
Note:   L.R. copy to be marked.
                     B/o
MRKR/CS  


Dated: 17.07.2015
        The learned Advocate General, and the other Counsel for the
respondents request that the sentence be kept in
abeyance/suspended to enable these respondents, sentenced by  
the order in the contempt case, to pursue their appellate remedies.
        In view of the oral request, the order in the contempt case
sentencing respondents 3, 4, 7 and 11 is suspended for a period of
one month.
__________________________  
RAMESH RANGANATHAN, J      
______________________________    
CHALLA KODANDARAM, J      
17.07.2015 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Article 54 of the Limitation Act, 1963 (36 of 1963) reads as follows: “For Specific performance of a contract: Three years The date fixed for the performance, or, if no such date is fixed, when the plaintiff has notice that performance is refused.”= the apex Court in Ahmmadsahb Abdul Mila vs. Bibijan[1], wherein it was held that the date fixed for the performance of the contract should be a specified date in the calendar, and submitted that since no specified date in the calendar for performance of the contract is mentioned in the agreement of sale, the second limb of Article 54 of the Limitation Act is applicable. ; whether the suit is barred by limitation or not becomes a tribal issue and when there is a tribal issue, the lower Court ought not to have rejected the plaint at the threshold. In view of the same, order, dated 27-01-2012, in CFR.No.90 of 2012, passed by the Additional Senior Civil Judge, Ongole, (FAC) Senior Civil Judge, Darsi, is, hereby, set aside. The Appeal is allowed accordingly.

Or.18, rule 17 and sec.151 C.P.C - petition filed for reopen and examination of the executant of Ex.A1 the sale deed to fill up the lacuna in evidence pointed out at the time of arguments not maintainable = Shaik Gousiya Begum. ..Petitioner Shaik Hussan and others.... Respondents = Published in http://judis.nic.in/judis_andhra/qrydisp.aspx?filename=10515

Order 39 Rules 1 and 2 CPC. plaintiff has to prove his title and possession how he came into possession prima faice , in the absence of the same, not entitled for interim injunction = The questions as to whether the lease deed was properly stamped and whether the stamp paper on which it was typed can be said to have been procured through proper source, need to be dealt with at the stage of trial.; The suit filed by the 1st respondent, is the one for injunction simplicitor in respect of an item of immovable property. He has also filed an application under Order 39 Rules 1 and 2 CPC. Basically, it was for the 1st respondent to establish that he is in possession and enjoyment of the property and that he derived the same through lawful means, particularly when he did not contend that he encroached upon the property.= assumptions of facts against to the contents of crucial third party by misreading the same- it is just un-understandable as to how the trial Court gathered the impression that Anuradha stated that there was a meeting of Board of Directors, where it was decided to lease the property to the appellants. - the trial Court itself was not clear as to whether the appellant is the lessee or a Manager or is working under any other arrangement. - The important findings that have a bearing upon the valuable rights of the parties cannot be based upon such uncertain and unverified facts. One of the cardinal principles in the matter of examining the applications filed under Order 39 Rules 1 and 2 CPC is that a party claiming that relief must come to the Court with clean hands. Prima facie, we find that there are no bona fides, much less consistency on the part of the 1st respondent, in his effort to get the order of temporary injunction. The trial Court has misread the evidence and misinterpreted the facts borne out by the record.