On 3rd April, 1951 the Odisha High Court Passed a Judgement where the contemnors guilty of contempt of the Court. The judgement was passed by Justice Ray and Justice Narasimham.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
A Bench presided over by Hon’ble Acting Chief Justice A. Pasayat (as his Lordship then was) in Lokanath Mishra, etc. v. State of Orissa, 88 (1999) CLT 399, decided the proceedings initiated under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 against members/office bearers of certain organizations who held a press conference at Cuttack and made contemptuous statements against an Hon’ble Judge of the Court as well as the Editors and Publishers of certain newspapers who published the news in their newspapers.
The Court found the defendants in contempt of court, and despite their unconditional and unqualified apologies, there was no remote or genuine apology for the statements/publications made by some of them. The contemnors were found guilty of contempt of court and sentenced to one month in simple imprisonment and a fine of Rs.5,000/- each. At the same time, the Court granted the contemnors the opportunity to purge the contempt and stated that this should not be interpreted as a liberal attitude toward them. The Court went on to say that it is often said that to forgive is noble, but to forget is divine. Despite such scurrilous attacks by people who believe the law Courts will absorb anything and everything, including attacks on their honesty, integrity, and impartiality, the Majesty of Law continues to hold its head high. As a result, while sentencing the contemnors as indicated, they were given the opportunity to offer genuine apologies and demonstrate genuine repentance for their actions. To that end, they intend to publish an unconditional apology in the relevant newspapers within one month, clearly stating that they offer their unqualified apology.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY AMRIT BEHERA.