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  • By: admin
  • Date: 10 Jul 2019
  • Civil
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Contempt of Court is any conduct that disrespect or disregard for interfering with or prejudice parties or with their witnesses during the litigation before the respective authority and administration of law. The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 governs the contempt law in India.

The act empowers the Supreme Court and High Court to punish acts of contempt. The Supreme Court and High Courts being courts of record have the constitutional validity to punish for contempt of Court and the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, according to the jurisdiction. Contempt of Court can be understood as an offence of defying the court authority by disobeying the instructions laid by the court. The Act defines civil contempt under section 2(a) as contempt of court means civil contempt or criminal contempt. The two types of contempt are different in character and very difficult to differentiate.

Section 2(b) of the 1971 Act not only encompasses willful disobedience to any judgment, decree, direction, order etc. of a court, it also takes in its fold a willful breach of an undertaking given to a court of law. The civil contempt is wrong of private nature. It injures the interests of the party, entitled to get benefit from the disobeyed order, whereas criminal contempt is an offence against the society where the contemner undermines the authority of the Court by his words or actions.

Section 2 (c) defines the ‘criminal contempt' as the publication (whether by words, spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise) of any matter or the doing of any other act, whatsoever which;
(i) scandalises or tends to scandalise, or lowers or tends to lower the authority of, any court; or
(ii) prejudices, or interferes or tends to interfere with, the due course of any judicial proceeding; or
(iii) interferes or tends to interfere with, or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the administration of justice in any other manner.

Also, Article 129 and 215 of the Constitution of India empowers the court to take action against the contempt. Article 129 empowers the Supreme Court whereas Article 215 empowers High Courts. Whereas, Section 10 of The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 has given the special powers to the respective High Courts to punish contempt of subordinate courts.

Article 129, of the Constitution of India, states that the Supreme Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself.

Article 215, of the Constitution of India, states that every High Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself.

Procedure

The procedures laid as per the Contempt of Court Act, 1971 has to be followed, as mentioned in Article 129 and 215 of the Constitution of India. An individual can recourse to the following options against the contempt.

1. He may place the information before the Court and request the Court to take action.
2. He may put the information before the Attorney General and request him to take appropriate action.
The contemnor alleged is entitled to get a notice about the same an opportunity of being heard, before considering him guilty of contempt and passing an order. 

Punishment

1. Supreme Court and High Court are bestowed with the power to punish the contemnor for the contempt of the Court.
2. As per Section 12 of Contempt of Court Act, 1971, the punishment for the contempt of Court can be the simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both.
3. However, in civil cases, if the Court considers that a penalty is not meeting the ends of justice and that a sentence of imprisonment is necessary then the court 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.

The punishment awarded to an accused may be discharged on apology being made by the accused to the Court's satisfaction. An excuse cannot be rejected on the grounds if accused makes it bonafide.

Limitation

Section 20 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 defines the limitation period within which the actions have to be taken against the contempt. It specifies that the limitation period is of one year from the date on which the contempt is alleged to have been committed.

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Contempt Of Court

By: admin Civil 10 Jul 2019

Contempt of Court is any conduct that disrespect or disregard for interfering with or prejudice parties or with their witnesses during the litigation before the respective authority and administration of law. The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 governs the contempt law in India.

The act empowers the Supreme Court and High Court to punish acts of contempt. The Supreme Court and High Courts being courts of record have the constitutional validity to punish for contempt of Court and the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, according to the jurisdiction. Contempt of Court can be understood as an offence of defying the court authority by disobeying the instructions laid by the court. The Act defines civil contempt under section 2(a) as contempt of court means civil contempt or criminal contempt. The two types of contempt are different in character and very difficult to differentiate.

Section 2(b) of the 1971 Act not only encompasses willful disobedience to any judgment, decree, direction, order etc. of a court, it also takes in its fold a willful breach of an undertaking given to a court of law. The civil contempt is wrong of private nature. It injures the interests of the party, entitled to get benefit from the disobeyed order, whereas criminal contempt is an offence against the society where the contemner undermines the authority of the Court by his words or actions.

Section 2 (c) defines the ‘criminal contempt' as the publication (whether by words, spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise) of any matter or the doing of any other act, whatsoever which;
(i) scandalises or tends to scandalise, or lowers or tends to lower the authority of, any court; or
(ii) prejudices, or interferes or tends to interfere with, the due course of any judicial proceeding; or
(iii) interferes or tends to interfere with, or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the administration of justice in any other manner.

Also, Article 129 and 215 of the Constitution of India empowers the court to take action against the contempt. Article 129 empowers the Supreme Court whereas Article 215 empowers High Courts. Whereas, Section 10 of The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 has given the special powers to the respective High Courts to punish contempt of subordinate courts.

Article 129, of the Constitution of India, states that the Supreme Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself.

Article 215, of the Constitution of India, states that every High Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself.

Procedure

The procedures laid as per the Contempt of Court Act, 1971 has to be followed, as mentioned in Article 129 and 215 of the Constitution of India. An individual can recourse to the following options against the contempt.

1. He may place the information before the Court and request the Court to take action.
2. He may put the information before the Attorney General and request him to take appropriate action.
The contemnor alleged is entitled to get a notice about the same an opportunity of being heard, before considering him guilty of contempt and passing an order. 

Punishment

1. Supreme Court and High Court are bestowed with the power to punish the contemnor for the contempt of the Court.
2. As per Section 12 of Contempt of Court Act, 1971, the punishment for the contempt of Court can be the simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both.
3. However, in civil cases, if the Court considers that a penalty is not meeting the ends of justice and that a sentence of imprisonment is necessary then the court 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.

The punishment awarded to an accused may be discharged on apology being made by the accused to the Court's satisfaction. An excuse cannot be rejected on the grounds if accused makes it bonafide.

Limitation

Section 20 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 defines the limitation period within which the actions have to be taken against the contempt. It specifies that the limitation period is of one year from the date on which the contempt is alleged to have been committed.
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Procedure To Be Followed In Civil Recovery Proceedings

By: admin Civil 25 Apr 2019

Step-wise Procedure to be followed in Civil recovery proceedings, In all eligible NPA accounts: 

1: Preparation of plaint - It should be ensured that the Plaint is made in the manner and as per legal requirements, it contains material facts, documents etc. Once the Bank files a Plaint, it will be known as a Plaintiff.

2: Remittance of court fees & filing the plaint - Court fee is calculated as per the Court Fees Act of each State. Court Fees Act prescribes the Court Fee depending on the subject matter of the litigation.

3: To complete process of service upon the Defendant/Defendants - The Court allots a serial number to the case once the case is filed, with a prefix indicating the type of the case, (Like "O.S" for "Original Suit"). The judge directs that a notice be issued to the Defendant/Defendants and also designates the next date. The Court then issues a "notice" to the Defendant/Defendants informing him that the Plaintiff has filed a case against him and instructing him to appear in the Court personally/through a lawyer on the appointed date.

4: Preliminary hearing - On the preliminary hearing when the Defendant/Defendants appears before the Court, then time is given to him to file the written statement, and next date of hearing is fixed for the Defendant/Defendants to file the written statement. Usually, a period of 30 days is allowed to the Defendant/Defendants. However, requests for grant of more time by the Defendant/Defendants are generally granted up to 30 days subject to a maximum of 90 days.
 
5: Filing written statement by the Defendant/Defendants - When the Defendant/Defendants files his written statement in the Court, he/they would deny all the assertions in the Plaint and compel the Plaintiff to prove every claim. This is also another way to prolong the outcome of the case, which may not be in favour of the Defendant/Defendants if the Plaintiff happens to have a bonafide case.

6: Framing of issues - A list of disputed questions of fact and law are called issues framed by the court which the Plaintiff has to prove through evidence. The points mentioned by the Plaintiff in his plaint, which is not expressly disputed by the Defendant/Defendants, need not be proved.

7: Defendant/Defendants (both borrower as well as guarantors) take steps to dispose of most of their assets (including hypothecated assets)
The following steps should be taken immediately after the suit is filed;
(a) Appointment of interim receiver and application for a temporary injunction 
(b) Interim attachment or injunction and interim sale.

8: Evidence After the Issues are framed, the case is then posted for evidence - 

(a) Filing documents & leading Evidence - The evidence of the Plaintiff is first taken for consideration. Next, other witness/witnesses, if any, on behalf of the Plaintiff are examined, and such witness/witnesses can also step into the witness/witnesses box to narrate the facts to the judge. This is called "leading evidence". All the witness/witnesses of the Plaintiff will be cross-examined by the Defendant/Defendants (i.e. by the Defendant/Defendants lawyer). 

(b) Evidence by the Defendant/Defendants - After the case of the Plaintiff is closed, the evidence on behalf of the Defendant/Defendants are taken up. The Defendant/Defendants is allowed to file any documents from his side, and these are also marked as records of the case. The witness/witnesses on behalf of the Defendant/Defendants are cross-examined by the Plaintiff (i.e. by the Plaintiff's lawyer). After the evidence of both sides is completed, the case is adjourned for final arguments.

(c) Closing Arguments - Since the judge may not be able to read and assimilate lengthy documents covering evidence on both sides, but he is accustomed for the quick perception of what is stated in the arguments. Documents are not read during the proceedings, and they have to be studied leisurely by the Judge, after court hours.
 
9: Pronouncement of Judgment & Passing of Decree: After the conclusion of arguments, the judge may reserve his Judgment to be pronounced on a later date or may deliver the same immediately as said earlier. Both parties may apply to the Court for a copy of the Judgment, and it is provided to them on their application.

10: Execution of the Decree - The party in whose favour the Decree is passed is called the decree-holder. The other party is called the Judgment Debtor. The Judgment debtor has to implement the Court's decree. If he fails to implement, the decree holder can file an execution petition in the Court. When a decree has been obtained by the Bank in its favour in the suit filed against the borrower and the guarantor, prompt steps should be taken for execution of such decree for recovery of the Bank’s dues.

11: Filing of Appeal - Where the suit is decreed in favour of either of the party, the aggrieved party may prefer an appeal, if there are valid grounds of law and/or facts to prefer an appeal. The Court, immediately higher in the hierarchy to the Court which passed the final judgment, is the Court to which an appeal will be filed. The appeal has to be filed within 30 days from the date of the decree.

12: Execution of Money DecreeEven if the Judgment debtor files an appeal against the Bank before the Appellate Court challenging the money decree passed by the lower Court in Bank’s favour, the Bank should nevertheless proceed to apply for the execution of the decree passed by the lower Court notwithstanding the pendency of such an appeal unless a stay order or injunction order is granted by the Appellate Court restraining the Bank from executing the decree.

The process as above appears very simple, but in real life, the litigation is dragged for several months and even years. This is not only on account of the delaying tactics adopted by the Defendant/Defendants but also due to an enormous backlog of litigations piled up and pending in civil courts. 
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