The Delhi High Court has sentenced a man to three days’ imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 after finding him guilty of criminal contempt of court for filing a false affidavit in a PIL, which turned out to be motivated by personal concerns.
“The filing of the false affidavit by the petitioner, knowing the same to be false, in our view cannot be treated lightly. The law and the courts should not be seen to sit by limply, while those who defy it go free,” Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw said on Tuesday.
Businessman Ram Niwas Jain had filed a PIL before the High Court in 2013, alleging that officials in the Land & Building as well as Revenue departments of the Delhi government had tampered with land records in Mehrauli.
The court had issued notice to the government, but then an intervention plea had been filed by Waziran, claiming to be the owner of the property mentioned in the PIL. Waziran, in her plea, alleged that the land in question had belonged to her husband and had been “illegally” sold to the wife of Ram Niwas Jain’s cousin, V K Jain.
The High Court had then ordered an inquiry by the CBI, which found that the parcel of land mentioned in the PIL was the subject of a dispute between V K Jain and Waziran, who had also filed an FIR against V K Jain and his wife.
The court also found that the lawyer representing Ram Niwas Jain in the case was the “regular lawyer” for V K Jain, and had been in constant contact with him during the court proceedings. Further, the court noted that Ram Niwas Jain had not mentioned any other parcel of land in his plea, even though he had claimed to have “unearthed a big land scam” in the area.
“It is clear that the petitioner in this PIL, on behalf of V K Jain, is seeking investigation into allotment of another land to Waziran. The only reason could be to pressurise Waziran to not challenge the transfer of the land, subject matter of FIR No.37/2012 to V K Jain,” the court noted.
The court, in its judgmnet, also noted that Ram Niwas Jain had “clearly been privy, rather guilty of not only making false declarations on oath before this court but has also been privy to abuse of the process of this court”.
Jain has been directed to submit Rs 10,000 as fine, which will be given to Waziran as litigation expenses.