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Delhi HC orders man to sit in court till it rises after holding him guilty of contem

The court said it was taking a "lenient view" on the sentence on account of the medical condition and age of the contemnor who also expressed remorse and apologised for his conduct.

Delhi HC orders man to sit in court till it rises after holding him guilty of contem
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Delhi High Court

NEW DELHI: Finding that a petitioner alleging unauthorised construction was willing to accept money from the other side to withdraw his case, the Delhi High Court directed him to stay put in the court till its rising as a punishment for contempt.

A bench headed by Justice Prathiba M Singh observed that the 62-year-old petitioner moved the court as an "attempt to leverage the judicial system for his personal gain" and asked him to also deposit Rs 1 lakh in the account of the Delhi High Court Legal Service Committee.

The court said it was taking a "lenient view" on the sentence on account of the medical condition and age of the contemnor who also expressed remorse and apologised for his conduct.

It said the law on contempt serves to protect the authority and dignity of the court against acts that grossly disrespect or impede its functioning, and held the petitioner guilty of contempt of court under Section 12 of the Contempt of Courts Act.

"The fact that the Contemnor was willing to negotiate and extract money from the Respondents for the withdrawal of the writ petition is, in the opinion of this Court, completely contemptuous. It shows utter disregard and abuse of the Court’s process, which the Court cannot condone," said the bench, also comprising Justice Amit Sharma, in its order passed on July 5.

"Such conduct of any person to abuse the judicial process cannot be ignored or left unpunished...The Contemnor is accordingly sentenced to remain in the Court till the rising of the Court today. In addition, the Contemnor shall deposit a sum of Rs.1 lakh to the Delhi High Court Legal Service Committee," the court ordered.

The contemnor had filed a petition in 2021 seeking action against unauthorised construction on certain land parcels in Burari.

Subsequently, one of the parties allegedly carrying out unauthorised construction claimed that contemnor demanded a sum of Rs 50 lakh for withdrawing the writ petition.

PTI
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