The Constitution of India, 1950 empowers the Supreme Court1 and High Courts2 to have the powers to punish for contempt. This means that if a person is held for contempt against any Subordinate Court like the District Court, the respective High Courts of the State, shall have the power to punish such a person3. Here, the term ‘High Court’ will also include the court of the Judicial Commissioner in a Union Territory4.
Tribunals and contempt of court
Some tribunals have the power to punish for contempt. However, one would have to look at the law establishing the tribunal to see whether that particular tribunal has the power to punish for contempt, and to know the procedure before the tribunal. For example, the Central Administrative Tribunal has the independent power to punish for contempt6, as well as the Industrial Tribunal has such powers7.0
- Article 129, Constitution of India, 1950.
- Article 215, Constitution of India, 1950.
- Section 10, Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.
- Section 2(d), Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.
- Delhi Judicial Service Association, Tis Hazari Court v. State of Gujarat, (1991) 4 SCC 406.
- Section 17, Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985.
- Industrial Disputes (Appellate Tribunal) Act, 1950.