J&K Special Tribunal be deemed as civil court for initiating contempt proceedings of its orders: HC
Srinagar: The High Court today ruled that J&K Special Tribunal (ST) shall be deemed its subordinate civil court for initiating appropriate proceedings against the violators of its orders and those who commit its criminal contempt.
The appellate court held that the Tribunal shall have jurisdiction to punish a person for disobedience of its interim orders of injunction passed to maintain the equilibrium or to preserve the (complaint or petition) etc.
In a detailed judgment arising out of Srinagar Municipal Corporation permission for construction, a bench of Justice Sanjeev Kumar said J&K ST is not a toothless body altogether and is possessed of sufficient powers to deal with the citizens who dare to commit its contempt.
He said it is ideal as also to make the functioning of the Tribunal effective to make an amendment in the Act of 1988 to confer upon it specifically the power to punish for contempt in relation to itself or any member thereof, as has been done in various statutes.
“The Administrative Tribunals constituted under the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985, National Company Law Tribunal and the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal constituted under the Companies Act have been specifically conferred the powers to punish for contempt of itself, which power is akin and identical to the power conferred upon the High Courts under Article 215 of the Constitution of India and Section 10 of the Contempt of Courts Act,” the court said, adding, “It is, however, for the Legislature vested with the power to legislate to take a call in this regard.”
The court held that while the Tribunal is not vested with any power to punish for contempt in relation to itself or any member thereof, but under Rules it is conferred the power of civil court to punish a person for contempt in relation to itself or any member thereof.
It said the ST shall be deemed to be a court subordinate to the High Court for the purposes of Section 10 of the Contempt of Courts Act.
“Therefore, it shall be well within its powers to refer an appropriate case to the High Court for initiating appropriate proceedings against the violators of its orders or against those who commit its criminal contempt,” ruled the High Court.