Under the Constitution of India, the Supreme Court has been vested with power to punish for contempt of Court including the power to punish for contempt of itself. The Supreme Court has been given plenary power to pass such order as is necessary for doing ‘complete justice’.
The Supreme Court exercise this power in rare cases of violation of its order. It is even rarer to see the apex court’s order being defied by a state government. HT takes a look at some of the cases where the states have violated the top courts directions.
September 21, 2016: Karnataka government decides to defy Supreme Court order that directed the state to release 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu per day till September 27. The decision was made after a series of state cabinet meetings and an all-party meet on Wednesday.
March 18, 2016: In yet another water dispute between states, in defiance of Supreme Court order, the Punjab government unanimously passed a resolution to not allow the construction of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal since it is not in the interest of the state.
Haryana had sought to restrain Punjab from publishing the Punjab Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal (Rehabilitation and Re-vesting of Proprietary Rights) Bill in the official gazette.
December 4, 2015: The Supreme Court issues contempt of court notice to Uttar Pradesh government for non- compliance of its order to appoint a new Lokayukta in the state.
October 13, 2011: The Haryana government was penalised Rs 50,000 by the Supreme Court for failing to implement its direction on introduction of high security number plates for all vehicles.
October 25, 2002: Cauvery water row: The then chief minister of Karnataka SM Krishna was pulled up by the Supreme Court when he defied its order to release water to Tamil Nadu.
October 24, 1994: The Supreme Court gave a symbolic punishment to the then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh by sending him to prison for a day and imposing a fine of Rs 2,000 for failing to protect Babri Masjid in Ayodhya despite the assurances given to the court. The Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.