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Contempt of Courts Act, 1971

17. Procedure after cognizance

(1) Notice of every proceeding under section l5 shall be served personally on the person charged, unless the court for reasons to be recorded directs otherwise.

(2) The notice shall be accompanied-

(a) in the case of proceedings commenced on a motion, by a copy of the motion as also copies of the affidavits, if any, on which such motion is founded; and

(b) in case of proceedings commenced on a reference by a subordinate court, by a copy of the reference.

(3) The court may, if it is satisfied that a person charged under section 15 is likely to abscond or keep out of the way to avoid service of the notice, order the attachment of his property of such value or amount as it may deem reasonable.

(4) Every attachment under sub-section (3) shall be effected in the manner provided in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908)1, for the attachment of property in execution of a decree for payment of a money, and if, after such attachment, the person charged appears and shows to the satisfaction of the court that he did not abscond or keep out of the way to avoid service of the notice, the court shall order the release of his property from attachment upon such terms as to costs or otherwise as it may think fit.

(5) Any person charged with contempt under section 15 may file an affidavit in support of the defense, and the court may determine the matter of the charge either on the affidavits filed or after taking such further evidence as may be necessary, and pass such order as the justice of the case requires.

Comment: Once the act, which prima facie shows that contempt of the court has been committed, is brought to the notice of the court, it is the court which has to decide whether the contempt has been committed or not or whether it is appropriate to take action or at a later date whether to drop the proceedings. The matter is primarily between the court and ,the contemnor. Shri Amrit Nahata v. Union of India AIR 1986 SUPREME COURT 791

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