Case Title: Court on its Own Motion v. Javed Hasan
Date of Decision: September 18, 2023
Case Number: CONT.CAS(C) 994/2023
Coram: Hon’ble Mr. Justice Prateek Jalan
This judgment pertains to Contempt of Court proceedings initiated against Mr. Javed Hasan, the defendant in a property dispute case. The defendant had repeatedly failed to comply with undertakings and orders of the court related to vacating a property and paying arrears of rent. This judgment discusses whether the defendant’s actions amounted to civil contempt.
The case originated from a suit filed in 2019 by the plaintiffs, Mr. Rajesh Chopra and Mr. Govind Patel, against Mr. Javed Hasan, the defendant, for possession of a shop property in New Delhi and the payment of rent, mesne profits, and electricity charges. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendant had failed to vacate the property after the lease period ended, caused structural damage, and did not pay rent or electricity charges. The trial court partially decreed the case on May 4, 2022.
The defendant filed an appeal in the High Court, which was disposed of on August 1, 2022. The defendant undertook to vacate the premises within six months and pay arrears of rent in equal installments. However, he failed to adhere to this undertaking.
Subsequent orders and extensions were granted, but the defendant continuously failed to comply with the court’s directions. Contempt proceedings were initiated due to his repeated violations of court orders.
The primary legal issue in this case is whether the defendant’s actions constituted civil contempt under Section 2(b) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, for wilful disobedience to court orders and undertakings.
Observations and Decision of the Court
The court observed that the defendant had repeatedly failed to comply with undertakings given to the court and court orders, and his conduct amounted to wilful disobedience, constituting civil contempt.
The court held the defendant guilty of civil contempt and ordered him to appear in person on November 7, 2023, for sentencing. The court directed the defendant to vacate the property within one week, and failure to do so would result in coercive measures by the Executing Court. Additionally, the court imposed costs on the defendant, which could be recovered by the plaintiffs during execution proceedings.
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Written by – Ananya Chaudhary