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HVK Archives: Contempt notice against 8 Imams

Contempt notice against 8 Imams - The Indian Express

Santanu Benerjee ()
July 18, 1998

Title: Contempt notice against 8 Imams
Author: Santanu Benerjee
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: July 18, 1998

The Environment Bench of the Calcutta High Court has issued suo
motu contempt rule against eight Imams, who refused to appear
before the bench for the fourth consecutive day today. The
contempt rule is returnable by August 5.

The Environment Bench, comprising justice Bhagabati Prasad
Banerjee and Justice Ronojit Kumar Mitra, issuing the suo motu
contempt rule asking the alleged contemners, Imams, to show cause
why they should not be committed to prison or otherwise penalised
for having violated the court order. The HC, while granting the
prayer of Imams' counsel on Wednesday last in the ongoing Azaan
case, had made it clear that the bench was giving the Imams a
last chance to appear before the court today.

Taking a serious view of the Imams' non-appearance despite
repeated order to this effect the bench ruled that it is an
attempt to challenge the authority of this court. Idris Ali, who
appeared for the Imams, submitted before the court today that
Imams, against whom the contempt rule was issued, would decide
whether they will appear before the court after a meeting among
themselves. Terming the Imams' decision as deliberate flouting of
court order, the bench ruled that "by their (Imams) conducts they
have created an unprecedented situation which is designed to
bring out the authority of this court to disrepute." The Judges
said, "In such circumstances, if the court keeps its hands
aloof,... it would be a case of failure of constitutional
machinery and the people will loose all confidence" in the court
and udicial system cannot continue.....

The Judges in their ruling said it is an ttempt to create
prejudicial atmosphere against this High Court, which, the Judge
felt, s bound to disrupt not only the communal harmony but also
bring down the law and order of the state. Incidentally, on
April 1, 1996, the Environment Bench of the Calcutta High Court
had passed an order imposing certain restrictions on the use of
microphones by political parties are religious communities.

In the order, the HC has imposed a total ban on the use of
microphones from 9 pm to 7 am except for the police and public
authorities to discharge their statutory duties. However, in
April this year on an application for modification, the court
ruled there was no restriction on giving Azaan through
microphones after observing decibel limits fixed by the Pollution
Control Board after 7 am till 9 pm.

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