Mehta Vs. State of Maharashtra  INSC 345 (9 September 1993)
K. Jayachandra (J) Reddy, K. Jayachandra (J) Ray, G.N. (J)
1994 SCC Supl. (2) 503
Heard learned counsel for the parties.
appeal arises under the Contempt of Courts Act.
contemnor is the appellant and he was found guilty under Section 12 of the Act
and sentenced to suffer simple imprisonment till rising of the Court and to pay
a fine of Rs 500 504 in default of payment of which to further suffer simple
imprisonment for two weeks.
case is that the appellant who is a trade union leader released a statement to
the Press which was published in the Times of India making certain disparaging
remarks against the Industrial Labour Courts. Notice was issued and the
Division Bench of the High Court in an elaborate order considered all the
contentions raised and ultimately awarded the conviction. Questioning the same,
the present appeal has been filed. It is urged before us that the appellant
filed an apology by way of an affidavit expressing his regrets about the report
mentioned in the papers and that he intends to unconditionally withdraw the
allegations and charges made in the report and therefore in such a situation
the court should have accepted the unconditional apology instead of convicting
the appellant. We are unable to agree with the above submissions. The
provisions of the definition of criminal contempt are fully attracted and in
the circumstances the Court is not bound to accept apology.
well-settled that sometimes apology is not a weapon of defence to purge the
guilt and under all circumstances it can be allowed and to be ignored even in
special circumstances. The High Court, however, taking into consideration all the
circumstances awarded a very lenient sentence. We see no ground to interfere.
The appeal is dismissed accordingly.