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No law can take away the power of contempt of court: Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the contempt of court’s power cannot be taken away even by a legislative act. Simultaneously, he held the president of a non-profit organization (NGO) guilty of contempt for not depositing Rs 25 lakh to harass and intimidate the court. “We are of the view that the person committing contempt is clearly guilty of contempt of court and his move to annoy the court cannot be accepted,” the top court said.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M M Sundaresh said that NGO Suraj India Trust chairman Rajiv Dahiya has been throwing mud at everyone including the court, administrative personnel and the state government. The bench said, the power to punish for contempt is a constitutional right which cannot be taken away even by a legislative act. It issued notice to Dahiya and directed him to be present in the court on October 7 when the sentence was pronounced. With regard to payment of money, the bench said it can be taken as arrears of land revenue.

While issuing contempt of court notice to Dahiya, the Supreme Court had asked why action should not be taken against him for trying to antagonize the court. Dahiya had told the court that he did not have the resources to pay the fine and would approach the President with a mercy petition. The Supreme Court is hearing Dahiya’s plea seeking quashing of the 2017 order of the court.

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In a 2017 order, the court had imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakh on him for filing 64 PILs over the years without any success and for repeatedly misusing the jurisdiction of the apex court.

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