The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to issue contempt notice against Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba while directing petitioner Ajay Katara to approach the concerned authority regarding additional security cover.
Katara had claimed that the authority concerned, the Home Secretary, a post Gauba had occupied before becoming the Cabinet Secretary, has withdrawn the Personal Security Officers (PSOs) provided to him. A three-judge bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and comprising Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice C.T. Ravikumar, passed the order on a petition filed by Katara, claiming that the concerned authority has withdrawn the Personal Security Officers (PSOs) provided to him.
Ajay Katara has already been provided with 4 PSOs and again moved the apex court seeking contempt against Secretary for not adhering to the directions of this apex court.
Advocate Pradeep Kumar Dey, appearing for Ajay Katara, urged before the bench that his plea of providing additional security considering the imminent danger to his life and liberty was not entertained by Rajiv Gauba , Secretary, MHA.
The Bench dismissed contempt petition of Ajay Katara to be issued against Rajiv Gauba(IAS)Secretary by leaving the option to move before concerned authority for additional security(PSOs).
Ajay Katara is the main witness in the Nitish Katara murder case, where Nitish Katara was kidnapped and later murdered by Vikas Yadav, the son of politician D.P. Yadav.
So far as the testimony of Ajay Katara is concerned, he had deposed that he had last seen victim along with accused before the murder took place that led to conviction of 3 accused in the murder case of Nitish Katara.
In the writ petition filed by Ajay Katara , he prayed for
“(a) Issue appropriate writ/order/ directions to the appropriate authority to provide enhanced security round the clock for the safety of the life and liberty of petitioner against any kind of threat and victimization for his peaceful stay by any Central agency and/or Special Cell of Delhi Police.
(b) Issue appropriate writ/order/ directions, directing the respondents to, considering the imminent danger to the life of the petitioner, relocate him to a safer place.”
Vide order dated 7.05.2019, the bench headed by Chief Justice, (retd.) Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna disposed of the main matter by giving direction to concerned authority in the Delhi Police and Ministry of Home Affairs to act immediately.
Vide order dated 7.05.2019 ASG for the Delhi Police and the Ministry of Home Affairs, submitted that the security requirement of the petitioner Ajay Katara has already been taken care of by providing with four Personal Security Officers (PSOs) and any further requirement of additional security will be reviewed within a period of one week from today. On such review, if the competent authority is of the view that the security of the petitioner needs to be enhanced, the same shall be done.
FOR READING REFERENCE – THE RULE OF INTIATING CONTEMPT UNDER CONTEMPT OF COURT ACT
As per Section 2(a) of Contempt of court Act 1971, ‘Contempt of court’ means civil contempt or criminal contempt;
Where ‘Civil Contempt’ means willful disobedience to any judgment, decree, direction, order, writ or other process of a court or wilful breach of an undertaking given to a court.
Contempt under Indian Constitution
Article 129 : – Supreme Court to be a court of record
The Supreme Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself .
However Article 142 provides that this Court can punish any person for contempt of itself but this power is subject to the provisions of any law made by parliament.