The Supreme Court in a Suo Moto Contempt Petition has held that a person who makes a false statement and deceives Court is guilty of contempt of Court.

The two-judge Bench of Justice UU Lalit and Justice PS Narasimha observed –

"It is thus well settled that a person who makes a false statement before the Court and makes an attempt to deceive the Court, interferes with the administration of justice and is guilty of contempt of Court. The extracted portion above clearly shows that in such circumstances, the Court not only has the inherent power but it would be failing in its duty if the alleged contemnor is not dealt with in contempt jurisdiction for abusing the process of the Court."

Senior Advocate Sonia Mathur appeared for the wife (Smriti), Senior Advocate Rajat Nair appeared for CBI while Advocate PK Manohar appeared for the contemnor – Perry Kansagra

The contemnor – Perry was guilty of Contempt of Court as he did not follow the directions of the Court passed on 7.10.2021. Though notice was issued to Perry by the Court no response was tendered. The Court found that the material on record clearly showed a violation on part of Perry. The Court nullified the impact of its orders passed in 2021 which were obtained by the Contemnor through fraud by the contemnor.

At the same time, the non-disclosure of material facts by Perry at the relevant junctures was also prima facie found to be contumacious. Therefore, the instant proceedings in the contempt jurisdiction were initiated suo moto by this Court.

Senior Advocate appearing for the wife placed reliance on various precedents and argued that unless and until Aditya (Son of Smriti and Perry) was brought back to the jurisdiction of this Court, Perry would not be entitled to be heard in the matter and that the contempt proceedings could as well be taken to a logical conclusion in his absence.

It was further contended that the conduct of Perry in tendering affidavits and undertakings containing false statements was not only fraudulent but also amounted to perjury and criminal contempt.

Thereafter, in suo moto exercise of power, proceedings in contempt jurisdiction were initiated against the contemnor by the Court.

"Having considered the entirety of the matter, in our view, Perry is guilty of having committed criminal contempt of Court apart from the contempt for violating express undertakings given to the Courts, including this Court. We accordingly hold Perry guilty under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971," the Bench held.

The Court thus gave a final opportunity to the Contemnor to appear before the Court to advance submissions on the issue of punishment awarded to him.

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