• Did opponent commit contempt of court

My family owns a Nazul plot (land) lease which  is renewable till eternity every thirty years, according to the agreement between Government of Maharashtra and my father -- the lease holder. However the government failed to renew the land lease in 2008 for another thirty years in favour of my deceased father’s heirs, even though it is government practice to renew lease in favor of heirs when the lessee dies . Besides they are legally obligated to, and they do that (included heirs when lessee died) in thousands of other Nazul lease holders as well.

Like many other lease holders have done in the past, we filed a petition for relief from HC since repeated requests to Government to renew our land lease fell on deaf ears. The court admitted the petition and asked the Government to file a reply as to WHY THEY HAD FAILED TO RENEW the petioners land since last eight years.  However the government lawyer did not file any reply date after date asking for more time. Even as the govt lawyer delayed in filing the reply, the Government of Maharashtra passed an order which was then published as Gazette resolution, directing the collectors that ALL NAZUL LANDS BE RENEWED and if there were even any breaches there should be minimum penalties but renewals must not be delayed. Apparently Maharashtra government wanted to give the much needed relief to thousands of Nazul land lease holders ( like us). We promptly filed the GR and government order in the HC and inspite of this, the government pleader/lawyer has failed to reply to the honorable High Court why they had not renewed our land. 

As things stand the Honorable judges warned the government a month back that if in the next hearing the Government failed to file their reply, the Court will proceed with the judgement.
However to our utter shock and dismay even in the next hearing, after the warning/ultimatum, the government lawyer failed to file any reply and has asked for more time! And the HC gave them another two weeks. it is now obvious something suspicious is going on --- why else is govt pleader neither replying nor assuring the HC that our land will be renewed?

My question is – DOES THE GOVERNMENT FAILURE TO OBEY THE HONOURABLE HC ORDER TO FILE REPLY INSPITE OF BEING ISSUED AN ULTIMATUM, CONSTITUTE CONTEMPT OF COURT, or at least blatant disregard for the Court?  If that is the case should we file contempt proceeding against the erring government / pleader? What should we do to obtain a speedy renewal that now the government itself has ordered through GR, the direction to the local collector to  renew all overdue land leases like ours? Will appreciate prudent advice. Many thanks.
Asked 3 years ago in Property Law from Pune, Maharashtra
Yes it will amount to contempt of court since government has disobeyed the order of the court immediately give a petition for contempt of court and ask the court to give necessary direction for the same with emergent petition
Jeshma Mohandas KP
Advocate, Kozhikode
567 Answers
1 Consultation

4.5 on 5.0

1) dont file any contempt of court proceedings . 

2) you should inform the HC that inspite of repeated  adjournments taken no reply has been filed till date 

3) since the HC has already warned the govt pleader that they will proceed with passing of judegment in absence of reply your lawyer should request court to pass   orders relying upon latest circular issued by Govt and direct Govt to renew the lease within period of 3 months of passing of orders . 

4) if inspite of judgement being passed Govt fails to renew lease then file for contempt of court
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
45486 Answers
2672 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

You can file an application for passing of orders/judgment for renewal of lease as the government has despite repeated orders/adjournment failed to file reply. Once such an order is passed and not complied with only then file contempt proceedings.
S.P. Srivastava
Advocate, New Delhi
703 Answers
13 Consultations

4.7 on 5.0

1. The government can be hauled up for committing contempt of court. When the HC had passed unequivocal directions to the govt to file its reply the order should have been complied with. 

2. Instead of filing for contempt of court you should rather tell the HC at the next hearing to proceed with the hearing of the case on merits as the state govt does not appear to be in the mood to file its reply. This will subserve your cause. If the state does not file its reply the case can be decided in it absence. The HC is not obliged to wait till perpetuity for the reply of the government. 

3. If the HC passes an order for renewal of lease, and the govt does not abide by it, it will amount to grave contempt of court.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
22977 Answers
634 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

reply to ur question;

A. NO.

B. no, u cannot file contempt proceedings.

C. ask ur lawyer to press HC to pass orders asap.

D. if after passing of final orders by HC Govt fails to renew lease then file  contempt of court petition.
R.K. Nanda
Advocate, New Delhi
457 Answers

4.7 on 5.0

It is not contempt of case. Ask your lawyer to take up strongly against the delaying tactics of Govt. Lawyer.
H. S. Thukral
Advocate, New Delhi
568 Answers
169 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. No. It is  not called contempt of Court,

2. Here, the Govt. is unable to justify why they have not renewed the lease for which they are not in a position to file written reply,

3. This is the golden opportunity for you to pray before the Court to pass judgment without the Written Reply and based on the recent circular and to direct the State  Govt to renew your lease agreement within one month,

4. If the said lease agreement is not executed by the Govt with in next one month, then you can file a petition before the Court against the State Govt. alleging contempt of Court.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
18471 Answers
448 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

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