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Report No. 274

C. Order Difficult to Comply being Unclear in Terms

6.9 A non-compliance of an order owing to an omission in such order rendering it unclear in terms of the required compliance, i.e. difficult to comply with, has been held to be not a contempt of such order. As in the case of Dravya Finance Pvt. Ltd. & Ors. v. S. K. Roy & Ors., (2017) 1 SCC 75, the Supreme Court closed a contempt petition, treating it as a limited review petition, on account of an apparent omission in the final order, which while ordering the payment of interest failed to specify the date from which it is to be calculated and paid.

6.10 In Jhareswar Prasad Paul & Anr. v. Tarak Nath Ganguly & Ors., AIR 2002 SC 2215, the Court noted that the court exercising contempt jurisdiction does not function as an original or appellate court for determination of the disputes between the parties, and if there is any ambiguity in the judgement or order then it is better to direct the parties to approach the court which disposed of the matter, for clarification of the order, instead of the court exercising contempt jurisdiction.

That the power to punish for contempt of courts is a special power and needs to be exercised with care and caution; that it should be used sparingly by the courts on being satisfied regarding the true effect of contemptuous conduct81.

Review of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 Back

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