Criminal Contempt Petition No. 5 of 2012. Case: Digambar Haribhau Pajgade Vs Nikhil Wagle, Editor and Ors. Bombay High Court

Case Number:Criminal Contempt Petition No. 5 of 2012
Party Name:Digambar Haribhau Pajgade Vs Nikhil Wagle, Editor and Ors
Counsel:For Petitioner: Amol B. Patil, Adv. and For Respondents: T. A. Mirza, Addl. Public Prosecutor
Judges:A. P. Lavande , J. and A. B. Chaudhari, J.
Issue:Contempt of Courts Act (70 of 1971) - Section 15
Citation:2013 CriLJ 1504
Judgement Date:February 04, 2013
Court:Bombay High Court


A. B. Chaudhari, J.

1. This petition was filed by the petitioner Digambar Haribhau Pajgade on 31st August, 2012 with a prayer to punish the respondents under the Contempt of Courts Act, and along with the amended prayer to take suo motu action against them. The contention of the petitioner is that the respondent Nos. 1 to 10 had shown telecast on New Channel IBN Lokmat, Mumbai, from 30th to 31st August, 2011. The telecast flashed reads thus:-

In the matter of inquiry of the land of Jawaharlal Darda Education Society Trust, wherein Ex-Chief Minister Shri Ashok Chavan, M. P. Vijay Darda and Education Minister Mr. Rajendra Darda, is stayed. The High Court slapped the petitioner. High Court blamed the petitioner to have obtained the order from the Court of J.M.F.C., by keeping the Court in dark and submitting incorrect information to the Court.

Respondent Nos. 2 to 9 also published said false news deliberately in their newspapers without verifying the correctness thereof intentionally and purposefully, and by twisting the correct facts while reporting the proceedings of the Court and, therefore, by doing so, they have scandalized the image and authority of the High Court which amounts to interference in the Administration of Justice. The publication in the newspapers and the telecast obviously was factually false and incorrect and thus they defamed the petitioner.

2. It is stated in the petition that petitioner had applied to the Advocate General of Maharashtra on 19th June, 2012 for consent contemplated by Section 15 (1) (b) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, and though the same was received, there was no response. By amendment, it has been brought to our notice that the Advocate General of Maharashtra by his communication dated 15th October, 2012 has declined to grant consent for initiation of criminal contempt proceedings. In support of the petition, the learned counsel for the petitioner vehemently argued that the Advocate General has declined to grant consent on irrelevant considerations and the reasons given by him are wrong and illegal. He further argued that the said refusal by the Advocate General to grant consent cannot form the subject-matter of challenge in this petition. As per the decision of the Supreme Court in case of P. N. Duda v. P. Shiv Shanker and others ((1988) 3 SCC 167): (AIR 1988 SC 1208), it is necessary to treat the present petition as the Contempt Petition by exercising suo motu power of the High...

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