HYDERABAD: A division bench of the High Court headed by Chief Justice Hima Kohli clarified that public servants and officers appealing against the convictions in the contempt of court cases must appear before the court on the day of hearing of the contempt appeal case.
The bench made it clear that unless the court dispensed the appearance of appellant, he must attend the court on every hearing. Otherwise, it would be taken seriously, the bench said. The High Court also ruled that apart from appearance, every officer in the contempt appeal shall place the information about their previous history of contempt cases against them when the contempt appeal was filed challenging the punishment or conviction.
The court also directed the contemnors to deposit the cost imposed against them in the contempt cases, before the High Court registry. If the costs were not deposited, then no suspension orders would be automatically extended on implementation of conviction like imprisonment.
The ruling was given by the court as it has come to experience that most of the appellants, particularly government officials, are deliberately not appearing before the courts, when their cases are scheduled for a hearing. The court observed that it seems the officers, who were convicted or punished in contempt cases were taking it in a lighter way as the court would set aside the conviction automatically with the filing of contempt appeal, or hardly with their apologies.
“No such enactment is there to spare the convict automatically in contempt case and apology is not a weapon of defence to purge the guilty of their offense,” the court said. Justice Kohli also hinted the counsels appearing for the appellants in the contempt appeals, not to misinform their clients on the appearance. When they deliberately disobeyed the court orders, they should come and say their inability to implement the orders, then only the court decided on the contempt appeal, the bench said....