Saturday, December 2, 2023

Supreme Court sentences Indian settled in Kenya to 6-month imprisonment for contempt of court

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The Supreme Court has awarded six months imprisonment to a Kenyan citizen of Indian origin and imposed fine of 25 lakh on him, for deliberately committing such acts, which lowered the dignity of the court and attracted punishment for contempt of court, besides civil contempt.

The Bench of Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit and Justice P.S. Narasimha passed the order on Thursday on a petition filed by one Smriti Kansagra, challenging it’s 2020 order in a child custody matter.

The woman mentioned that the Apex Court had given custody of her son to her husband, Perry Kansangra in 2020, directing him to obtain a “mirror order” from the corresponding Kenyan court within two weeks to take the child to Kenya.

She alleged that the father got custody by allegedly giving a forged or wrong mirror order from the Kenyan High Court.

The woman further mentioned that Perry not only refused to obey the directions granting visitation or meeting rights to the mother, but also moved the Kenyan court for declaration of invalidity of Indian jurisdiction.

After noting that the accused had played fraud on the court and approached it with “unclean hands” by suppressing material facts, the CJI-led Bench recalled the custody order.

The top court of the country also initiated suo motu contempt proceedings against the Kenyan citizen of Indian origin and held him guilty of having committed criminal contempt of Court, apart from civil contempt for violating express undertakings given to the Courts.

It observed that the contemnor falsely represented before the foreign jurisdiction that Indian Courts have not sought the consent of Aditya and that the decision of the Supreme Court of India was unenforcable.

Noting that such acts lower the authority of this Court, the Apex Court observed that the contemnor interfered with the due course of judicial proceedings and obstructed the administration of justice, making it clear case of criminal contempt.

It was further observed that Perry neither showed any remorse, nor tendered any apology for his conduct.

The Supreme Court sentenced him to simple imprisonment for a term of six months for civil contempt of Court adjourns imposed fine of Rs 12,50,000. In case he failed to deposit the fine, the accused was directed to undergo simple imprisonment for one month.

The top court of the country also sentenced him to simple imprisonment for six months for obstructing the administration of Justice and lowering the authority of this Court. He was also fined Rs 12,50,000 and directed to undergo one more month of simple imprisonment, in case he failed to deposit the fine.

As per the court order, the accused would serve both the sentences. He was directed to deposit fine of Rs 25 lakh in the Registry of the Court within four weeks.

The same shall be released to Smriti Kansagra upon an application filed by her, added the Court, while directing the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, along with other agencies and instrumentalities, to
carry out the directions issued by the Court with due diligence and utmost expediency.

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