"We Tried To Be Kind...": Supreme Court Raps NGO Head Convicted In Contempt Case

The Supreme Court deferred till January the sentence of the chairperson of NGO Suraz India Trust Rajiv Daiya

'We Tried To Be Kind...': Supreme Court Raps NGO Head Convicted In Contempt Case

The Supreme Court bench has posted the matter for January 11 next year

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court today told the chairperson of an NGO who has been held guilty of contempt for not depositing Rs 25 lakh cost for "scandalising and browbeating" the court that he has not learnt a lesson and the top court would not permit him to misbehave.

"You think that by threatening everybody, whether this bench or threatening the other people, threatening the government, threatening others, you can make people to withdraw. You have said so. You want people to hold back by misbehaving. We are unwilling to permit you to misbehave," the court said.

The observations were made by a bench comprising Justices S K Kaul and M M Sundresh, which deferred till January next year the sentence of the chairperson of NGO Suraz India Trust, Rajiv Daiya, who said he has tendered an unconditional apology and the court was gracious and kind enough towards him.

However, the bench observed, "We tried to be kind to you but you are not a person who takes this kindness very well. That is the whole difficulty."

Rajiv Daiya said at the outset that he had "misinterpreted" the top court's order.

The bench said he is well-versed in the law and has been arguing constitutional issues before the court.

"It is no pleasure for us to convict somebody. That is the last resort. But you went on and on," it said, adding, "You don't seem to learn a lesson."

The bench said he had moved an application tendering an unconditional apology and the court would defer the sentence.

"We will defer the sentence. Let us see how you behave," the bench observed, adding, "We will defer the sentencing to January and see what is the position and then, some sentence we will impose. What we will impose, let us see."

The bench has posted the matter for January 11 next year.

In its September 29 judgment holding Rajiv Daiya guilty of contempt of court, the top court had said that its power to punish for contempt is a constitutional power that cannot be abridged or taken away even by legislative enactment.

The bench had said that he was clearly guilty of contempt of the court and his actions to scandalise the court cannot be countenanced.

The top court had issued a contempt notice to Rajiv Daiya as to why he should not be proceeded against and sentenced for his endeavour to scandalise the court.

Rajiv Daiya had told the bench that he did not have the resources to pay the cost imposed by the top court and would approach the President with a mercy plea.

The top court on December 5, 2017, had refused to modify its earlier order against the NGO for filing 64 PILs.

It had dismissed the plea filed by the NGO to modify the order which also barred the organisation from filing any plea before any court across the country.

Since the costs were not deposited with the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Welfare Trust, the matter was put up again before the top court and notice was issued on September 29 last year.

The court had on May 1, 2017, taken the punitive step and imposed a hefty cost on the NGO, saying waste of judicial time was a matter of serious concern.

Referring to the details of the matters filed by the NGO and the various orders passed by the top court, the bench headed by the then Chief Justice J S Khehar had said it "leaves no doubt that Suraz India Trust has repeatedly misused the jurisdiction of this court".

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)