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GREATER THE POWER HIGHER THE RESPONSIBILITY – UNJUST AND IN-APPROPRIATE USE OF CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS IS ABUSE OF PROCESS OF COURT 2011 SC

GREATER THE POWER HIGHER THE RESPONSIBILITY – UNJUST AND IN-APPROPRIATE USE OF CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS IS ABUSE OF PROCESS OF COURT 2011 SC

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Justice H.L. DATTU and Justice CHANDRAMAULI KR. PRASAD in H.G. RANGANGOUD vs STC of India ltd and ors Decided on 11-11-2011, “It is to secure public respect and confidence in the judicial process. Rule of law is the basic rule of governance of any civilized democratic polity. It is only through the courts that rule of law unfolds its contours and establishes its concept. For the judiciary to carry out its obligations effectively and true to the spirit with which it is sacredly entrusted the task, constitutional courts have been given the power to punish for contempt, but greater the power; higher the responsibility………….Fair reporting of court proceedings and fair comments on the legal issues do not amount to contempt………It is criminal contempt to voice opinion on a case pending in court as that would seem to influence the outcome of the matter and to prejudice the parties therein…………………………..Any attempt to influence the outcome of the matter pending before the court to prejudice the parties therein may prejudice or interfere with the due course of any judicial proceeding but in our opinion, mere filing of the representation and making recommendation thereon in no way prejudices or interferes or tends to interfere with the due course of any judicial proceeding.”
Justice H.L. DATTU and Justice CHANDRAMAULI KR. PRASAD in H.G. RANGANGOUD vs STC of India ltd and ors Decided on 11-11-2011, “It is to secure public respect and confidence in the judicial process. Rule of law is the basic rule of governance of any civilized democratic polity. It is only through the courts that rule of law unfolds its contours and establishes its concept. For the judiciary to carry out its obligations effectively and true to the spirit with which it is sacredly entrusted the task, constitutional courts have been given the power to punish for contempt, but greater the power; higher the responsibility………….Fair reporting of court proceedings and fair comments on the legal issues do not amount to contempt………It is criminal contempt to voice opinion on a case pending in court as that would seem to influence the outcome of the matter and to prejudice the parties therein…………………………..Any attempt to influence the outcome of the matter pending before the court to prejudice the parties therein may prejudice or interfere with the due course of any judicial proceeding but in our opinion, mere filing of the representation and making recommendation thereon in no way prejudices or interferes or tends to interfere with the due course of any judicial proceeding.”

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05/12/2014

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REPORTABLEIN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTIONCRIMINAL APPEAL Nos. OF 2011(@ SLP(Crl.) Nos. 844-847 of 2008)H.G. RANGANGOUD APPELLANT VERSUS M/S.STATE TRADING CORPORATIONOF INDIA LIMITED & ORS. RESPONDENTSJ U D G M E N TCHANDRAMAULI KR. PRASAD, J.
1.Petitioner, aggrieved by the order passed bythe Division Bench of the Karnataka High Courtinitiating proceeding for contempt in exercise ofits
suo motu
power, has preferred these specialleave petitions.2.Leave granted.
 
3.Bereft of unnecessary details the facts givingrise to the present appeals are that the appellantapplied on 16
th
of April, 2003 for grant of mininglease for iron ore over an area of 350 acres inYeshawanthnagar Range of the Kumarswamy ReserveForest Area within Sandur Taluk in Bellary Districtof the State of Karnataka. The State Governmentprocessed the request and in exercise of powersunder Section 5 (1) of the Mines and Minerals(Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (hereinafterreferred to as ‘the Act’) by its letter dated 9
th
ofFebruary, 2004 recommended to the CentralGovernment for grant of mining lease in favour ofthe appellant to the extent of 16.8 hectares.However before any decision could be taken, theCentral Government issued notification dated 27
th
ofJune, 2005 in exercise of the power under Section17 A (1A) of the Act and reserved iron ore depositsin the area in question for exploitation by StateTrading Corporation of India Limited, a public
2
 
sector undertaking. In view of the aforesaidreservation the Central Government returned theproposal of the State Government to grant mininglease to the appellant by its letter dated 21
st
ofJuly, 2005
.
Aggrieved by the aforesaidnotification appellant preferred WP No. 19339 of2005 (H.G. Rangangoud v. Minister of Coal & Mines,represented by the Secretary & Ors.) before theKarnataka High Court, inter alia praying forquashing the notification reserving the iron oredeposits in favour of the State Trading Corporationof India Limited. The writ petition filed by theappellant was heard along with another writpetition filed by Salgaocar Mining IndustriesPrivate Limited and the learned Single Judge by itsjudgment and order dated 14
th
of August, 2007quashed the aforesaid notification dated 27
th
ofJune, 2005. Armed with the order of the HighCourt, appellant represented to the StateGovernment to consider his application for grant of
3

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