Supreme Court closes contempt proceedings against two NCDRC members and says, “Hierarchy of the judiciary needs to be respected”

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On May 15, 2024 (Wednesday), the Supreme Court (SC) of India closed the contempt proceedings against two members of the NCDRC (National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission) who issued non-bailable warrants against the directors of a company despite the top court’s previous interim order. The SC bench constituting Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah, while pronouncing the order today, warned/cautioned the two NCDRC members (Subhash Chandra and Dr. Sadhna Shanker) for ignoring the previous order of the top court and said that all the orders passed by the apex court should be respected and fully complied with. The order of the SC reads, “We are of the opinion that the deponents of the affidavit out to have been much more cautious particularly while issuing non-bailable warrants knowing that the same would affect the right to life and liberty of the appellants who despite the protection extended by this Court were left helpless and had to rush to this Court bringing to its notice the order passed by the NCDRC on March 8th and April 22.” The bench added, “It cannot be that when an order is passed by this Court is mentioned before the members of the NCDRC and a copy is sought to be handed over, the same should be ignored and brushed aside. Any orders passed by the Court ought to be respected and fully complied with, in view of the fact that the hierarchy of the judiciary needs to be respected and in that hierarchy, the order passed by this Court will bind the NCDRC and the judicial officers.” Concluding the order, the bench said “In view of the above, it is deemed appropriate to warn/ caution the deponents of the affidavit to be more careful in the future and proceed to deal with the matter with caution particularly when the order of the superior court is placed before them for their information and compliance.” Earlier on April 15, 2024, the SC bench issued a show cause notice to two members of the NCDRC seeking an explanation for issuing non-bailable warrants against the Directors of the appellant company, M/s Ireo Realtech Pvt. Ltd., despite the top court’s protection order.