At, High Court of Karnataka
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE B.S. PATIL & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S. SUNIL DUTT YADAV
For the Complainant: K. Shrihari, Advocate. For the Accused: Bipin Hegde, Advocate.
(Prayer: This CCC is filed under Sections 11 and 12 of the Contempt of Courts Act R/W Article 215 of the Constitution of India praying to pass an appropriate order punishing accused for willful and deliberate disobedience of the order dated 07/11/2016 in W.P.No.37874/2016(KLR-RES) filed herewith and marked as Annexure-A)
B.S. Patil, J.
1. In this contempt petition, complainant is alleging deliberate violation of the
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interim order dated 7.11.2016 passed by the learned Single Judge in W.P.No.37874/2016. The same reads as under:
"Sri M.Gururaj Joshi, learned counsel is directed to take notice for respondent No.2.
Respondent No.2 is directed to maintain status-quo in relation to the nature and title of the property bearing Katha No.656, measuring 70 x 40 ft. situated at Bethamangala, Bangarpet Taluk, Kolar District until further orders."
2. Subsequent to this order, on 18.11.2016, the property in question was released in favour of the borrower/owner on discharge of the loan as per One Time Settlement arrived at between Karnataka State Financial Corporation (KSFC) and the borrower. It is also relevant to notice at this stage that ultimately the said writ petition came to be dismissed by order dated 23.3.2017 vide Annexure-C.
3. It is alleged by the complainant in this contempt proceeding that inspite of full knowledge of interim order dated 7.11.2016, directing Special Tahsildar - KSFC, arraigned as respondent No.2 in the writ petition to maintain status quo in relation to the nature and title of the property bearing Khata No.656, measuring 70ft. x 40 ft. situated at Bethamangala, Bangarpet Taluk, Kolar District, the same was released in favour of the borrower, which has resulted in intentional violation of the interim direction of this Court.
4. Respondent-accused has filed reply contending inter alia that although standing counsel for KSFC, Mr.M.Gururaj Joshi was directed to take notice in the writ petition when the interim order was passed, the respondent-accused was not aware of the interim order dated 7.11.2016; the same had not been communicated to the respondent; the respondent came to know about the same only when complainant served a copy of the interim order dated 7.11.2016 alongwith his letter dated 22.11.2016 vide Annexure-R1. It is therefore submitted that there is no intentional violation of the interim order passed by this Court entailing the action in contempt jurisdiction.
5. We have heard learned counsel for both parties.
6. Sri K.Srihari, learned counsel appearing for the complainant relies on the Apex Court's decision in the case of PRITHAWI NATH RAM Vs. STATE OF JHARKHAND - AIR 2004 SC 4277. In para-9 of the said judgment, it is observed as under:
"(9) In a given case, even if ultimately the interim order is vacated or relief in the main proceeding is not granted to a party, the other side cannot take that as a ground for disobedience of any interim order passed by the Court."
7. He also points out that notice to a counsel is effective notice to the litigant, whom he represents and therefore, the defence taken in this regard by the respondent is untenable.
8. We have no difficulty in appreciating and accepting the contention urged by learned counsel for the complainant in this regard. However, in the instant case, the fact remains that KSFC, a statutory body has come up with a statement on oath that the factum of passing of interim order was not notified and it came to know about the same only on 22.11.2016 when a letter so addressed in this regard was served by the complainant to the AGM, KSFC, Kolar.
9. There is absolutely no reason to disbelieve this assertion made in the affidavit which is duly sworn to by the Special Tahsildar, KSFC, Kolar. In addition, we have to point out here that the complainant has already approached this Court again in W.P.No.24456/2017 challenging the action of KSFC. The said matter is pending and indeed, an interim order is also obtained in the said writ proceedings.
10. Hence, reserving liberty to the complainant to work out his remedy in the pending proceedings, the present contempt proceeding is closed, as we see no deliberate or intentional violation of the interim order dated 7.11.2016 passed by this Court in W.P.No.37874/2016.
Accordingly, contempt proceeding is closed.