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CHEQUE BOUNS CASE

The contempt in the instant case is clear and evident. Though the proceedings were suspended in December 2010, as late as in August 2011, the possession was taken from the petitioner. This was preceded by several letters from the respondent. There cannot be a better instance of deliberate violation and flouting of orders passed by this Court. It was only on 05.01.2012 that the present Chief Executive Officer has issued proceedings withdrawing the notices and reminders that were issued by the respondent herein on earlier occasion. The respondent did not take any such steps, even after he received notice in the contempt case or till he was repatriated to the parent department. He is guilty of contempt of Court and is liable to be punished.The facts of the present case justify imposition of maximum punishment upon the respondent, including the one of imprisonment. However, it is stated that he is working as a Joint Secretary in the Secretariat and imprisonment would result in serious disadvantage in his service. Taking a lenient view, the punishment of fine of Rs.1,000/- (Rupees One Thousand Only) is imposed. In case, the amount of fine is not paid, within four weeks from today, he shall be liable to undergo imprisonment for one month.

THE HONOURABLE SRI JUSTICE L.NARASIMHA REDDY

A weekly district administration meeting being...

A weekly district administration meeting being chaired by the District Magistrate/Collector (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Contempt Case No.1535 of 2011

06.01.2012

Sri Gondi Parshwanath Sarvodaya Teerthdham

Habeebuddin Ahmed

Counsel for the Petitioner: Sri Vedula Srinivas

Counsel for Respondent: Sri M.A.K.Mukheed

ORDER:

The petitioner filed W.P.No.32868 of 2010 against the A.P. Wakf Board,
represented by the Chief Executive Officer, challenging the notice, dated
01.12.2010 issued by the respondent under Section 51 of the Wakf Act (for short
‘the Act’), in relation to a piece of land under the occupation of the
petitioner. The writ petition was admitted and an interim order was passed on
28.12.2010 in W.PM.P.No.41761 of 2010, suspending the notice. This contempt
case is filed alleging that the respondent has violated the order of this Court
and proceeded to address letters to the District Collector as late as on
04.03.2011 and that the District Collector in turn issued proceedings dated
11.05.2011 directing recovery of the possession of the petitioner. It is stated
that the respondent got erected sign boards depicting that the property belongs
to Wakf Board and all these acts constitute a deliberate contempt of orders of
this Court.
The respondent filed a counter affidavit and an additional counter
affidavit. It is stated that the transfer of the land in favour of the
petitioner is not legal and that proceedings were initiated accordingly. In the
recent past, the respondent herein by name Habeebuddin is said to have been
repatriated to his parent Department. The present Chief Executive Officer also
filed an additional counter affidavit. The purport thereof is that the fact that
an interim order was passed by this Court was not brought to the notice of the
respondent immediately by the Tappal Section. Having said that, the respondent
proceeded to state that the possession of the petitioner over the land in
question was objectionable and accordingly, it was resumed to the Wakf Board in
August 2011. It is also stated that he issued proceedings, dated 05.12.2012
withdrawing the earlier proceedings. Counter affidavits are silent as to the
date, on which the respondent became aware of the orders of this Court,

Heard Sri Vedula Srinivas, learned counsel for the petitioner and Sri
M.A.K.Mukheed, learned counsel for the respondent.

The petitioner is in possession and enjoyment of about 1000 square yards
in premises bearing No.13-4-702, New Raod, Alawa Panch Bhai, Hyderabad.
Alleging that it is part of land held by Ashoor Khana Panchbhai Alawa, the
respondent imitated proceedings against the petitioner under Section 51 of the
Act. While admitting the writ petition, this Court passed an interim order in
W.P.M.P.No.41761 of 2010, which reads as under:
Prima facie, this Court finds that the impugned notice is outside the
scope of powers of the Wakf Board. There shall be interim suspension as prayed
for. Notice.”

Notwithstanding that, the respondent addressed a letter, dated 19.01.2011
to the Collector and District Magistrate, Hyderabad requesting him to issue
suitable orders under Section 52(2) of the Act, for eviction of the petitioner.
On behalf of the petitioner, a notice, dated 01.02.2011 was issued to the
respondent. Reference was made to the orders of this Court. Still, the
respondent proceeded to address another letter dated 14.03.2011 insisting on the
Collector to take steps under Section 52(2) of the Act. The Collector, in turn,
issued proceedings dated 11.05.2011 directing the Revenue Divisional Officer to
recover the possession. The Deputy Tahsildar, Asifnagar Mandal is said to have
recovered possession from the petitioner on 16.08.2011 under a panchanama.
Thereafter, the respondent arranged sign boards in the land at several places to
the effect that the land belongs to Wakf Board.

One hardly comes across such a blatant disregard of the orders of High
Court by the persons heading statutory organizations like Wakf Board. Once the
notice is suspended, any further steps in pursuance thereof stand prohibited.
Whatever may be the effect of such order on the steps, which have already taken
place, no further action is permissible by any authority whatever.

The respondent made an attempt to throw the blame on the subordinate
officials stating that the copy of the order was not put up before him. It
needs to be mentioned here that as required under the Writ Rules, the papers are
served on the Standing Counsel for the Wakf Board before the writ petition is
filed and at the time of admission, the Standing Counsel appears and takes
notice. Assuming that the service of papers before the writ petition is filed
or the presence of the Standing Counsel when the interim order is passed, do not
constitute notice to the respondent, the fact remains that the copy of the order
was received by him. To a specific question as to when exactly the respondent
came to know about the orders of this Court, it is stated that on 01.02.2011, he
has seen it. Atleast from then onwards, he ought to have desisted from taking
any steps. It has already been mentioned that he went on issuing
letters/proceedings addressed in March and April 2011 to the District collector.
The Lawyer’s notice dated 01.02.2011 got issued by the petitioner did not have
any impact upon the respondent.

The contempt in the instant case is clear and evident. Though the
proceedings were suspended in December 2010, as late as in August 2011, the
possession was taken from the petitioner. This was preceded by several letters
from the respondent. There cannot be a better instance of deliberate violation
and flouting of orders passed by this Court. It was only on 05.01.2012 that the
present Chief Executive Officer has issued proceedings withdrawing the notices
and reminders that were issued by the respondent herein on earlier occasion. The
respondent did not take any such steps, even after he received notice in the
contempt case or till he was repatriated to the parent department. He is guilty
of contempt of Court and is liable to be punished.

The facts of the present case justify imposition of maximum punishment
upon the respondent, including the one of imprisonment. However, it is stated
that he is working as a Joint Secretary in the Secretariat and imprisonment
would result in serious disadvantage in his service. Taking a lenient view, the
punishment of fine of Rs.1,000/- (Rupees One Thousand Only) is imposed. In
case, the amount of fine is not paid, within four weeks from today, he shall be
liable to undergo imprisonment for one month.

The contempt case is accordingly allowed.
__________
06.01.2012

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