M. K. D. Mineral
& Export (P) Ltd. Vs. B.C. Dagara  INSC 1153 (16 July 2008)
JURISDICTION CONTEMPT PETITION (C) NO.317 OF 2007 IN CIVIL APPEAL NO.2080 OF
2007 M.K.D. MINERAL & EXPORT(P) LTD. Appellant(s) Versus B.C. DAGARA
Respondent(s) ORDER We have heard learned senior counsel for the parties at
petition is directed against the order passed by this Court on 16th April, 2007
whereby the Respondent-Contemnor has not shown any deference of complying the
aforesaid order. Therefore, the petitioner herein has approached this Court by
filing the present contempt petition. The order against which the contempt
petition is directed reads as under :- "We modify the order passed by this
Court dated 12.2.2007 and the order passed by the High Court dated -2-
22.12.2006 is restored subject to the condition that in case the respondent
does not lift the 30,000 MTs of iron ore per month then it will be open for the
appellant to sell it in the open market. He will supply 30,000 MTs of iron ore
per month on the same terms and conditions as per the agreement and payment
shall be made by demand drafts. This order shall be subject to the final order
to be passed by this Court. We request the Arbitrator to dispose of the
arbitral proceedings as expeditiously as possible, preferably within four
months from today."
the respondent herein, despite the aforesaid order did not comply this order
till today. In a reply to contempt petition by the respondent, the respondent
took two stands; one, that the petitioner was not having a trading licence and
second, that the petitioner declined to accept the iron ore as it said to be
less than the required iron content. It was only 35% FE.
Therefore, he has not
committed any contempt of this Court and he has faithfully abide by this
Court's order. In a detailed affidavit filed by the respondent, he tried to
justify that he had at all the time tried to obtain a transit permit but he could
not secure the same on account -3- of petitioner not having a trading licence.
The petitioner in his rejoinder affidavit submitted that throughout he had the
trading licence except for a limited period i.e. from December 7, 2007 to
March, 2008 but for the rest of the period he always had the trading licence.
Dr. Rajeev Dhavan,
learned senior counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent at a great length
tried to persuade that the respondent was in all bonafide tried to comply with
the order of this Court but for the reason beyond his control he could not do
so and in that connection, he took two aforesaid pleas.
Dr. A.M. Singhvi,
learned senior counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner submitted that
after this order was passed on 16th April, 2007 the respondent- contemnor tried
to avoid this order by moving one after the other applications for modification
but he did not succeed before this Court getting the order modified.
He also invited our
attention to the order passed on 24th September, 2007 where this Court
expressed a great displeasure on the part of the respondent to make a futile
attempt to seek modification order. This Court in its order dated 24th
September, 2007 observed as under :- "This Court had earlier passed an
Order dated 16.4.2007 after hearing counsels for parties. Thereafter -4- I.A.
No.1 was dismissed by the Court on 16.5.2007 after hearing counsel. We cannot
appreciate this practice of filing I.A. after I.A. on the same matter after an
order was passed after hearing counsels for both parties. It will be a review,
or a review of a review, which should not be encouraged. I.A. No.2 is hence
Dr. Singhvi then
pointed out that he had at all the time trading licence and the plea raised by
the petitioner that he had no trading licence is false and without any basis
and he also pointed out that Respondent Contemnor moved applications before the
mining authorities for permission of supply of iron ore to others with
requisite percentage of 65% iron content. Whenever the supply to petitioner
came, he tried to throw a stack of iron ore of 35% FE.
We have bestowed our
best of the consideration to lengthy arguments by both the learned counsels,
but we are constrained to say that the way the present respondent has behaved
is highly undesirable manner and in contemptous manner. He has shown great
impunity to defy the order of this Court. The respondent was directed to supply
30,000 MTs. of iron ore on the payment by bank draft but he for one reason or
the other tried to avoid this Court's order -5- for a period of one year by
making one application or the other and tried to scuttle this Court's order.
When he failed to get this Court's order modified he took up another stand that
the petitioner had no trading licence. Ultimately, when the matter came in for
final disposal thereto also the respondent did not realise and still he
persisted in it and contested the matter to the best of his ability. This
deliberate defiance of the respondent cannot be appreciated. The Court passed
the order after hearing both the parties at length and thereafter he repeatedly
tried to get the order modified by filing interim applications which were
Then too also the
message was not understood by the respondent. This conduct of the respondent does
not warrant any sympathy. This Court is very slow to take harsh action but at
the same time dignity of this Court does not permit that order of this Court is
defied with impunity. If strong action is not taken against such contemnor then
people will lose faith and lay down bad precedent. We hold him guilty of
contempt of this Court's Order and punish him to undergo three months
imprisonment with a fine of Rs.5,00,000/- (Rupees five lacs only). He is given
two weeks time to surrender before the Superintendent of Police, Rairangpur,
-6- District Baripada, Orissa. In case he does not surrender within two weeks,
the Superintendent of Police shall get him arrested and send him to jail for
serving out the sentence. He shall deposit the fine of Rs.5,00,000/- in the
Registry of this Court within two weeks failing which he will have to further
undergo imprisonment for a period of one month.
We further direct
that the Mining Engineer shall not permit him to operate in the mines till he
complies with the orders passed by this Court.
The Contempt Petition
is accordingly, disposed of.