SC initiates contempt of court proceedings against Upendra Nath Dalai for wilful disobedience of the Court’s directions to deposit Rs. 1 lakh

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On 08 August 2023, the Supreme Court (SC) bench of Justice PV Sanjay Kumar and Justice CT Ravikumar initiated contempt of court proceedings against Upendra Nath Dalai. The contempt of court proceedings were initiated against him because he failed to deposit Rupees one Lakh, imposed on him for filing a PIL petition seeking a declaration of Satsang founder Shri Shri Thakur Anukulchandra a ‘parmatma’. This order was passed by the bench because of the ‘wilful disobedience’ of the earlier decision of the SC.  The order reads, “In view of the fact that despite issuance of notice through email on 27.7.2023, the petitioner has not deposited the cost imposed vide order dated 5.12.2022, initiate contempt proceedings against the Petitioner for wilful disobedience of the directions issued by this Court.” In December, when the bench of Justice Ravikumar and Justice MR Shah dismissed the PIL, they emphasized that India is a secular country and stated that prayers of such nature cannot be sought through PILs. Further, the SC imposed a cost on the petitioner that is Rs. 1 lakh for filing a ‘misconceived’ petition. The petitioner asked for a relaxation of the said amount in the MA (Miscellaneous Application) whereas the bench recently noted that the same was not deposited by them. In this context, the Supreme Court bench initiated contempt of court proceedings against the petitioner, as mentioned in the order passed on August 07.

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