Fine on IFCI, jail for executives for contempt of court

March 21st, 2012 - 1:32 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) The Delhi High Court has slapped a Rs.5 lakh fine on the Industrial Finance Corporation of India Ltd (IFCI) and sentenced its CEO and two other officials to a month in jail for contempt of court by not complying with its order.

A bench of Justice P.K. Bhasin made it clear the path of pardon for the contemnor, which the court has been adopting, would not be followed anymore.

“The litigants have started gathering the impression that the moment an apology is tendered, even while maintaining that no contempt was committed, the court would melt down and pardon them,” said Justice Bhasin.

Stressing that no leniency would be shown for contempt, the court said the impression that one could get away easily even after not complying with the orders of the court needed to be “washed away” from the public mind.

“That kind of an evil trend needs to be nipped in the bud before it spreads any further,” Justice Bhasin said.

The court’s order came after it came to its knowledge that IFCI and its two senior officials had violated the court’s directions to remit the sale proceeds of Koshika Telecom Ltd to the telecom firm’s official liquidator.

Holding the IFCI officials guilty of contempt of court, it imposed fine and sentenced its CEO-cum-MD Atul Kumar Rai, Assistant General Manager (Law) Shalini Soni and Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) recovery officer R.K. Bansal to a month of simple imprisonment each.

However, the court has kept its order in abeyance for four weeks, giving the time to the four contemnors to go in an appeal against its order.

“The execution of this order, however, shall remain in abeyance for a period of four weeks to enable the contemnors to approach the appellate court for any appropriate relief, if (they) so desire,” the order said.

The court directed the IFCI to deduct a sum of Rs.3.5 lakh from the salary of Rai and Rs.1.5 lakh from that of Soni, so that it would not have to bear the brunt of the fine.

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