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HC sends actor Rajpal Yadav to 10 days in jail for misleading court

PTI | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Dec 3, 2013, 6:44 pm IST
Updated Mar 18, 2019, 9:47 pm IST
File photo of Bollywood actor Rajpal Yadav - PTI
 File photo of Bollywood actor Rajpal Yadav - PTI

New Delhi: Bollywood actor Rajpal Yadav and his wife Radha on Tuesday earned the wrath of Delhi High Court which sentenced him to 10 days in jail for contempt in a recovery suit of Rs 5 crore pending against them.

Yadav's wife got away with lighter punishment as the court noted that she had an infant to take care of and ordered her to be in custody for one day till its rising.

The actor and his wife, facing contempt proceedings in the suit filed by a Delhi-based M.G. Agarwal against them for recovery of Rs five crore, were held guilty of misleading the court and avoiding appearance.

Justice S. Muralidhar termed the sequence of incident in the case as 'shocking state of affairs'. It said the couple, who had been held guilty of contempt earlier also, were avoiding appearance before it to present their views on quantum of sentence.

"This case presents a shocking state of affairs. Rajpal and his wife have already been punished for contempt of court and the case has been kept pending only on the question of sentence.

"Instead of mitigating the contempt committed, defendants (Yadavs) have systematically aggravated the contempt by making misleading statements in court and acting in defiance of the court's order. Added to this unfortunate state of affairs is the untruths spoken by their counsel in the court," it said.

"The court is satisfied that no further leniency can be shown to either of the contemnors in these proceedings. The court accordingly sentences defendant 2 (Yadav) to 10 days simple imprisonment beginning forthwith....

"As far as defendant 3 (Radha) is concerned she and defendant 2 have an infant. The court is, therefore, prepared to take a more lenient view. Defendant 3 is sentenced till the rising of the court today," it said. The court also issued contempt notices to the lawyer of Yadav's wife for allegedly lying about her whereabouts and the Oath Commissioner who had attested the affidavit.

Dealing with the role of lawyers, the court said, "Suffice it to say that counsel for the defendants have not acted as officers of the court and have failed to discharge their duty towards the court."

Referring to Monday's proceedings, the court said it was "an even more serious contempt" as it was wrongly averred by the lawyer that Radha was in Delhi or in Ghaziabad when, in fact, she was in Mumbai.

"An even more serious contempt has been committed yesterday by defendants 2 (Rajpal) and 3 (Radha) and this time along with an advocate and an oath Commissioner. A joint affidavit has been tendered yesterday in the court by the defendants and shown to be sworn before an oath Commissioner, one Reshma Gehlod....

"If indeed Radha was not even present in Delhi, much less in court, it is inconceivable that such an affidavit could have been affirmed with seal of oath Commissioner on the basis of identification by counsel.

"Therefore, apart from defendants 2 and 3, prima facie both the oath Commissioner as well as the counsel who purportedly identified defendant 3, one of the deponents, has falsified the record of the court," it said.

The court also ordered attachment of the joint account of Yadav couple in Axis Bank at Malad in Mumbai as well as the account of their company in the same bank and sought a compliance from the bank within one week. It asked Rajpal to comply with the earlier order and "make a disclosure on affidavit of all immovable and movable assets of defendants (the couple and their company) by next date".

The bench also noted the couple have "repeatedly" breached the assurances and undertakings given to the court.

"Despite assurance given by them repeatedly to this court and the division bench, as has been noted in the previous orders which shall now be read as part of this order as well, they have repeatedly been in breach of those undertakings.

"Even the most recent order passed by the court on November 25, 2013 has not been complied with," it said. A recovery suit has been filed by Delhi-based businessman M.G. Agarwal against Rajpal and his wife after they failed to repay Rs 5 crore which the actor had taken in 2010 to make his Hindi debut directional film 'Ata Pata Laapata'. 

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