When one is held guilty of contempt, they have the option to apologize to the court and save themselves from any other punishments.1 However, such an apology should be genuine and not merely a ruse to save oneself from punishment.2
Punishment for Contempt of Court
The punishment for civil and criminal contempt is the same. In situations where the court is not satisfied with the apology or if the person is unwilling to apologize, the court can punish the offender for contempt. The punishment is fine of up to Rs 2,000, or jail time up to 6 months, or with both. However, this limit is only applicable for the High Courts and not for the Supreme Courts. For the Supreme Court, this limit will only serve as a guide to the punishments that can be given and they can increase the fine amount.3
Moreover, the court has the option not to punish the offender if the court is of the opinion that the person has not substantially prejudiced the court.4
- Proviso to Section 12(1), Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.
- MC Mehta v. Union of India, (1987) 4 SCC 463.
- Zahira Habibullah Sheikh & Anr v. State of Gujarat & Ors, (2004) 4 SCC 158.
- Section 13(a), Contempt of Court Act, 1971.