Mumbai Aug 6(ILNS): The Bombay High Court today gave a stern warning to respondent Sruti Dasgupta to refrain from sending any communication to Flipkart Internet Pvt Ltd, telling her that even a single infraction will lead to the initiation of contempt of court proceedings against her.
“If there is a repetition and a single infraction, she will have only herself to blame, for I will have then no option but to bear the full weight and authority of law, and, in particular the law of contempt of court. I am always slow to use this power. But that slowness is not to be mistaken for reluctance or timidity,” the Single Judge Bench of Justice G. S. Patel observed.
The Court made the above remark while dealing with a contempt petition filed by Flipkart Internet Pvt Ltd, alleging that despite the High Court order of July 26, 2021, the Respondent has apparently sent several communications to the company, making allegations against the company, their officers and now even against their Advocates.
Sruti had earlier confirmed in the High Court that she would not make such statements or complaints. She assured the Court that she would abide by the undertakings that she gave to the High Court on May 5, 2021, and June 15, 2021.
The Bench noted that regrettably, Sruti persistently falls into default. This is not the first time. She has sent more emails after the last order. She sent out about 100 emails in the last four days. She puts out Tweets on one or more of her numerous Twitter accounts.
“Sruti expresses some form of helplessness and inability to control these actions. She seems to suggest that they are involuntary, or at any rate, that she cannot consciously contain herself. But she must. These are orders of the Court,” said the Bench.
“I will not entertain defenses or arguments like this, viz that orders of the Court and undertakings to the Court will continually be breached because the Defendant believes herself or himself to be helpless. If so, and that person needs professional assistance or intervention, that person must seek it and avail of it,” the Bench remarked.
On Wednesday, respondent Dasgupta had submitted that she would delete her Twitter accounts. The Court accepted that statement with the undertaking.
“She will do so within the next 48 hours. She will not re-activate those accounts and she agrees not to set up a new Twitter account at least for this purpose. In short, there will be no communications emanating from Ms. Dasgupta against the petitioner or its Advocates in any form of communications oral, written, physical, or digital, or in any medium or media whatsoever, whatever be the social media platform, the High Court had observed.
Justice further clarified that if the respondent drives Court to use power, “not only will she feel its full brunt and force, but she alone will be responsible for that state of affairs. I say this because one look at the record indicates that a contempt notice could and perhaps ought to have been issued several weeks ago. If therefore, the Court has stayed its hands all this time, this is an act of clemency, not an indication of helplessness or ineffectiveness.”
To report whether those accounts have indeed been closed down, the Court had fixed the matter on August 11.
“It is open, in the meantime, to the petitioner and its Advocates to institute such form of email blocking or filtering as the petitioner deems fit,” the order read./ILNS