|He broke open seals; Supreme Court finds him guilty of contempt|
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday took a serious view of an admission by local BJP legislator Harcharan Singh Balli that he broke open seals on unauthorised commercial constructions that were sealed at the court's order at Raja Garden, and sentenced him to three-month imprisonment for contempt of court.
A Bench, comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat, C. K. Thakker and L. S. Panta, passed the order after Mr. Balli said: "As a people's representative I owed a duty to protect their interests. I know your order is illegal and not good for the people. So I broke open the seals."
The Bench said: "He has stated that he was conscious and aware of this court's orders and claims that it is his duty as a representative of the people to do so. We do not find any substance in his plea.
"People claiming to be representatives cannot flout our orders brazenly. On the basis of his confession, we find him guilty of contempt of court and sentence him to three-month imprisonment."
The court issued notice to the MLA after its monitoring committee alleged that he went to several places at Tilak Nagar and broke open the seals. He was arrested and sent to jail for 15 days.
On Tuesday, Mr. Balli found fault with the court for serving him a contempt notice on the ground that he broke open the seals at Tilak Nagar. He said: "There was no such breaking of seals at Tilak Nagar as I was not present there. The police and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) filed affidavits stating that I was not present at Tilak Nagar. But you sent me to jail for 15 days. Will you compensate me for this? Is this the way to treat a people's representative? You order a CBI probe into the whole incident."
Referring to the former Chief Justice of India, Y.K. Sabharwal (who was part of the Bench that passed the order), he said: "The Judge passed such a wrong order. You stop disbursement of his pension. You ask the MCD and the police to compensate me for sending me to jail."
The Bench asked the monitoring committee to file a reply on the MLA's submissions. It would take up the matter at the next hearing.
The MLA asked the judges whether he should surrender to the police or he would be arrested. The Bench said the law would take its course.
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