Court's Power Of Contempt Can't Be Taken Away Even By Legislative Enactment: Supreme Court (29-09-2021)

New Delhi: Observing that the court's power of contempt can't be taken away even by a legislative enactment, the Supreme Court today held the chairperson of an NGO guilty of contempt for not depositing ? 25 lakh for “scandalising and browbeating” the court.

“We are of the view that the contemnor is clearly guilty of contempt of court and his action to scandalise the court cannot be countenanced,” the Supreme Court said.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh said the chairperson of NGO, Suraz India Trust, Rajiv Daiya has been “throwing mud” at all and sundry including the court, administrative staff and the state government.

“The power to punish for contempt is a constitutional power vested with this court which cannot be taken away even by a legislative enactment,” the court said.

The Supreme Court issued notice to Rajiv Daiya and directed him to be present on October 7 for hearing of the sentence.

With regard to recovery of money, the bench said it can take place as arrears of land revenue.

The Supreme Court had issued contempt notice to Mr Daiya as to why he should not be proceeded against and sentenced for his endeavour to scandalise the court.

Mr Daiya had told the bench that he did not have the resources to pay the costs imposed by the Supreme Court and would approach the President of India with a mercy plea.

The Supreme Court was hearing an application filed by Rajiv Daiya seeking recall of the Supreme Court's 2017 judgement by which it had imposed costs of ? 25 lakh on it for filing 64 PILs over the years without any success and “repeatedly misusing” the jurisdiction of the top court.

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01 Oct 2021