The apology which has been tendered by the alleged contemnors was not accepted by the High Court of Gujarat on 31st August (Monday). The contemnors had supposedly called and also sent SMS from an unknown number to Justice Bela M. Trivedi, who is a High Court Judge. This was done in connection of an application of anticipatory bail which was listed before her.
On the date of listing of the anticipatory bail in question, which was on 22nd of June, 2020, the present incident took place. It was observed by the bench which consisted of Justice Sonia Gokani and Justice N. V. Anjaria that,
“The alleged contemnors first committed their acts which has a tendency to interfere with the course of administration. Those can be said to be the acts and action contemptuous in nature. It was only subsequently, when this court issued Suo Moto notices that they responded, finding no escape route, with tendering of apology. Thus their apology inspire no confidence.”
The facts of the case are on June 22/23, the Superintendent of Police was ordered by Justice Bela M Trivedi for getting the statements recorded of the two persons who were identified during the preliminary inquiry which was hold by the Registrar (IT), in connection to the phone calls.
Following the order, respondent no. 2 was being able to be traced down by the Superintendent of Police, in the present matter. On questioning he agreed that the call was made by him on the instance of respondent no 1.
A suo moto contempt proceeding was consequently initiated under Article 215 of the Constitution of India as well as Section 15 of the Contempt of Court Act 1971. Thereby, a notice under Section 17 of the Contempt of the Court Act had been issued against the respondents.
After giving the parties adequate opportunity of being heard, the court had observed that the apology could not be accepted by the court as the matter was contemptuous in nature. However, a request for granting reasonable time was asked for by the Senior counsel appearing before the court.
The matter was directed to be listed on board on 21.09.2020, after acceding to the request.