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Report No. 274

D. Technical Contempt

6.11 Emphasising on initiating contempt proceedings with utmost reserve and greatest caution, courts have on various occasions distinguished between a mere technical contempt and a contempt of court which interferes or tends to interfere with the due course of justice. As was noted by the Apex Court In Re : P.C. Sen, AIR 1970 SC 1821, a Court will not initiate proceedings for commitment of contempt where there is a mere technical contempt.

6.12 Further, in the case of Murray & Co. v. Ashok Kr. Newatia, AIR 2000 SC 833, the Supreme Court underlining the pre-condition of substantial interference with the due course of justice under Section 13 of the Act 1971, held "It is not enough that there should be some technical contempt of court but it must be shown that the act of contempt would otherwise substantially interfere with the due course of justice which has been equated with "due administration of justice"".

Substantial interference with the course of justice being an essential requirement for imposition of punishment under the statute.

Review of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 Back

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