of Education, Uttaranchal & Ors Vs. Ved Prakash Joshi & Ors  Insc
355 (15 July 2005)
Pasayat & S.H. Kapadia Arijit Pasayat, J.
passed by learned Single Judge of the Allahabad High Court giving certain
directions while dealing with application filed under Sections 14 and 15 of the
Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 (in short the 'Act') read with Article 215 of the
Constitution of India, 1950 (in short the 'Constitution') is challenged in this
appeal. The foundation of such application was alleged non-compliance of the
directions given by the learned Single Judge of the High Court in Writ Petition
no.129/84 by order dated 16th
September, 1997. By
the impugned order learned Single Judge has given certain directions while disposing
of the Contempt Petition.
to the learned counsel for the appellants such directions could not have been
given while dealing with application for contempt. Such exercise of power is
not authorized in law. During the hearing of the application by the High Court
the respondent no.1 (applicant before the High Court) had contended that in
view of the judgment passed by the learned Single Judge in the Writ Petition
the applicant was entitled to arrears of salary etc. The appellant and the functionaries
of the State who were impleaded as respondents in the contempt proceedings took
the stand that there was no positive direction for giving arrears of salary
and, therefore, non-payment would not constitute wilful violation to attract
action in terms of Section 12 of the Act.
High Court was of the view that no positive directions could have been issued
for arrears of salary.
Competent Committee was yet to consider the question of regularization under
the U.P. Regularization of Adhoc Appointments (on posts outside purview of U.P.
Public Service Commission) Rules, 1979 (in short the 'Rules').
was made also to certain decisions to hold that once the order of termination
is set aside, it is to be deemed that incumbent had continued in service and
would be entitled to salary and allowances as if there was no break in service.
It was also held that when an authority acts in disregard to a settled position
in law, the commission or omission would amount to contempt even if such an act
may not amount to wilful disobedience. The contempt court can act like an
executing Court and can issue further directions to compel the authority for
taking action which is in consonance with settled law. It was accordingly held
that respondent no.1-the applicant was entitled to arrears of salary from the
date of his termination upto the date of reinstatement in service. The contempt
petition was accordingly disposed of.
support of the appeal, learned counsel for the appellant submitted that it is
not in dispute that no specific direction was given regarding arrears. In fact,
by office order no.NI(Lecturer)Yojana/1693-1/83/98-99 dated 10.8.1998, it was
clearly stipulated that the respondent no.1 shall not be paid salary for the
distributed period but shall be entitled for the benefit of increments earned
earlier as usual.
counsel for the respondent no.1 submitted that the High Court had rightly taken
note of the fact that as order of termination was set aside, and the natural
consequence is payment of back wages. Merely because the earlier order of the
High Court did not specifically deal with this aspect, that cannot be a ground
to deny the benefits to him.
dealing with an application for contempt, the Court is really concerned with
the question whether the earlier decision which has received its finality had
been complied with or not. It would not be permissible for a Court to examine
the correctness of the earlier decision which had not been assailed and to take
the view different than what was taken in the earlier decision. A similar view
was taken in K.G. Derasari and Anr. V. Union of India and Ors. (2001 (10) SCC 496). The Court exercising contempt
jurisdiction is primarily concerned with the question of contumacious conduct
of the party who is alleged to have committed default in complying with the
directions in the judgment or order. If there was no ambiguity or
indefiniteness in the order, it is for the concerned party to approach the
higher Court if according to him the same is not legally tenable. Such a
question has necessarily to be agitated before the higher Court. The Court
exercising contempt jurisdiction cannot take upon itself power to decide the
original proceedings in a manner not dealt with by the Court passing the judgment
or order. Right or wrong the order has to be obeyed. Flouting an order of the
Court would render the party liable for contempt. While dealing with an
application for contempt the Court cannot traverse beyond the order,
non-compliance of which is alleged. In other words, it cannot say what should
not have been done or what should have been done. It cannot traverse beyond the
order. It cannot test correctness or otherwise of the order or give additional
direction or delete any direction. That would be exercising review jurisdiction
while dealing with an application for initiation of contempt proceedings. The
same would be impermissible and indefensible. In that view of the matter, the
order of the High Court is set aside.
appellant has any grievance so far as the order dated 10.8.1998 is concerned
denying him the arrears of salary, he may, if so advised, approach the
appropriate forum for such remedy as is available in law.
appeal is allowed to the aforesaid extent with no order as to costs.