Calcutta High Court directs contemnors to pay Rs. 50, 000 and plant fruit-bearing trees for contempt of Court

calcutta high court

Calcutta High Court: While deciding a contempt application, a single-judge bench comprising of Shekhar B. Saraf, J., directed the contemnors to plant 10 fruit-bearing trees each in plots of land identified by Gram Samriddhi Foundation in order to countenance their act of contempt.

“Contemnors must do some social good for this Court to countenance their act of contempt.”

In the instant matter, the Court had issued orders dated 30-09-2022, and 13-03-2023, directing the contemnors not to transfer or alienate the properties in question. The contemnors admitted to violating the impugned orders by executing conveyance deeds. The contemnors offered an unconditional apology.

The Court observed that the High Court, as a court of record, possesses the power to punish for contempt under Article 215 of the Constitution of India. Given the clear violation of the court’s orders, the Court finds the contemnors in contempt and seeks to balance justice by requiring them to undertake a social good.

The Court allowed the contempt application and issues the following directions:

  1. Contemnor 1 and Contemnor 2 must each deposit Rs. 25,000 to Gram Samriddhi Foundation and the foundation will use these funds for sustainable rural development and prosperity in West Bengal.

  2. The deposit must be made within one week from the date of this order, and a compliance report should be filed in the Court. Failure to make the payment will result in legal action initiated by the Registrar (Original Side).

  3. The contemnors are directed to plant 10 fruit-bearing trees each in plots of land identified by Gram Samriddhi Foundation. They should seek logistical support and assistance foundation.

  4. The contemnors must file a compliance affidavit within six weeks from the date of this order, including photographs showing the plantation site(s) before and after planting.

The case is listed for further orders on 08-09-2023.

[Hytone Merchants (P) Ltd. v. Prasenjit Das, 2023 SCC OnLine Cal 2644, order dated 31-08-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case:

Mr. Arindam Paul, Mr. Biswaroop Ghosh Adv. Mr. Shaunak Ghosh, Adv. Mr. Sariful Haque, Counsel for the Petitioner

Mr. Pratip Mukherjee, Ms. Sreetama Neogi, Counsel for the Contemnor 1

Mr. Samrat Choudhury, Mr. Debnandan Bhattacharyya, Counsel for the Contemnor 2

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