SC: Departmental Proceeding during criminal trial is not contempt of court

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, today, i.e. on 8th April, in the matter of The Secretary, Lucy Sequeira Trust And Anr. v. Kailash Ramesh Tandel And Ors.pronounced that initiation of process in a departmental proceeding can never be said to be amounting to contempt of court even if there are criminal proceedings pending in the court.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

A departmental proceeding and proceedings in a criminal court are completely different. The purpose is different, the standard of proof is different and the approach is also different. (Para 14)

The initiation of the process in a departmental proceeding can never be said to be amounting to contempt of court even if the criminal proceedings were pending. (Para 14)

Whether any criminal trial was pending or not would not be having any bearing on the pending issue before an Inquiry Committee set up during departmental proceedings. (This inference has been drawn on the basis of Para 14)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_08-Apr-2019

-Tushar Kaushik

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