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Report No. 274

D. The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC)

2.35 In contempt of courts proceedings under the Act 1971, admittedly the provisions of the CrPC have no application (Section 5, CrPC). The High Courts and the Supreme Court take actions in exercise of their constitutional power or inherent powers being the court of record (vide Sukhdev Singh Sodhi (supra))

2.36 Section 345, CrPC: Procedure in certain cases of contempt, CrPC empowers any civil, criminal or revenue court to punish summarily a person who is found guilty of committing any offence under Section 175, 178, 179, 180 or Section 228 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 (IPC) in the view or presence of the court.

2.37 In Arun Paswan, S.I. v. State of Bihar & Ors., AIR 2004 SC 721, the Supreme Court held that a perusal of Section 345 of CrPC shows that offences under Section 175, 178, 179, 180 or 228 of the IPC would constitute contempt only if they are committed in the view or presence of the Court. "This would also show that offences under Sections 175, 178, 179, 180 or 228 per se do not amount to contempt.

They are contempt only if they are committed "in the view or presence of the Court", otherwise they remain offences under the Indian Penal Code simpliciter." In this case where the slogan shouting and using abusive language against the Judge took place outside the court, the Supreme Court held that the contemptuous act, since not an offence punishable under the IPC, did not come within the ambit of the proviso to Section 10 of the Act 1971, and the jurisdiction of High Court was, therefore, not ousted.



Review of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 Back




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