Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Whether breach of undertaking given in consent decree amounts to contempt of court?

The depth of the solemn aspect of an undertaking given to Court has been considered since the case of Bajranglal Gangadhar Khemka and Anr. v. Kapurchand Ltd. MANU/MH/0014/1950 : AIR 1950 Bom 336, in the Division Bench judgment of Justice Chagla C.J and Gajendragadkar, J., as they then were. The giving of the undertaking in all orders and decrees of Court has been considered to mean an undertaking given to the Court. It is observed that the expression " a party undertakes" has borne the meaning that the undertaking has been to the Court.
That was a suit of specific performance of a contract. The Plaintiffs had an option to purchase the leased property which was sought to be sold to another without giving them the option. The parties compromised the action and executed Consent Terms. The Defendants were to execute a lease in favour of the Plaintiffs. The Defendants undertook to have the 3rd party joined as a confirming party to the lease and failed to execute the lease as agreed upon. The Plaintiffs called upon the Defendants to join the 3rd party as such and upon failure of the Defendants sued on contempt. The learned single Judge Bhagwati, J., as he then was, held that there was a willful default on the part of the Defendants, and ordered them to carry out the undertaking within one monthfrom the date of the order, failing which a warrant for committal of the Defendants to prison would be issued. It was contended on behalf of the Defendants that the undertaking was a mere solemn promise given to the Plaintiffs and that there was no undertaking to the Court such as to constitute contempt. Negativing that contention it was held by the Division Bench that there was no reason why even in a Consent Decree a party may not give an undertaking to the Court. It was observed that when the Court passed a decree it puts its imprimatur upon those terms and makes the terms a rule of the Court. It was, therefore, held that there was nothing contrary to any provision of law whereby an undertaking cannot be given by a party to the Court in a Consent Decree, which undertaking can be enforced in proper committal proceedings. It was observed that when an undertaking is given by a party to the Court, it becomes an order of the court and a particular mode is prescribed for enforcement of that particular order. That mode is the proceedings for contempt for enforcement of the order. The fact of giving of an undertaking to Court can be seen by looking at the Consent Decree itself. The Court considered the scheme of the agreement containing the undertaking and confirmed the order of the learned single Judge in directing compliance of the undertaking and dismissed the Appeal upholding the order of committal in case of its failure.
29. In a later short and concise judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Chhaganbhai Norsinbhai v. Soni Chandubhai Gordhanbhai MANU/SC/0078/1976 : (1976) 2 S.C.C. 951, again held that willful breach of an undertaking given to the Court amounted to its contempt.
In that case the Defendant undertook to the Court to handover the keys of the premises and vacate the premises within a specified time. He further undertook to pay manse profits and not part with its possession. Upon his failure, the Court observed that the order passed upon the undertakings would not be a mere Consent Order. It would be a case of express undertakings to the Court incorporated in that order. The contention on the part of the Contemnor that there was no breach of an undertaking and that it was a mere agreement between the parties to which an order of the Court has been appended was rebuked and rejected. The Supreme Court agreed with the High Court that it was a perverse and deliberate flouting of undertakings given by a litigant who, evidently, had no intention to abide by them. It was observed that the undertakings seemed to have been taken very lightly as mere cloaks for obtaining an order which would not have been passed, but for the undertakings. Hence the order of the High Court to convict the contemnor and sentence him to Civil jail was upheld observing from Halsbury's Laws of England - Fourth Edn. Vol. 9, page 44 (para 75) deals with the aspect of giving undertakings thus:
An undertaking given to the Court by a person or corporation in pending proceedings, on the faith of which the court sanctions a particular course of action or inaction, has the same force as an injunction made by the Court and a breach of the undertaking is misconduct amounting to contempt.
This has been cited with approval in the case of Chhaganbhai Norsinbhai v. Soni Chandubhai Gordhanbhai MANU/SC/0078/1976 : (1976) 2 S.C.C. 951.
30. Since any undertaking in any Consent Order is to be read as an undertaking given to the Court (Per Chagla C.J.) in the case of Bajranglal (Supra) breach of such undertaking was held to enable an application for contempt to be made.
31. The case of Bajranglal (supra) has been followed with approval by the Supreme Court in the case of Bank of Baroda v. Sadruddin Hasan Daya and Anr. MANU/SC/1031/2003 : (2004) 1 SCC 360, holding that:
The violation or breach of the undertaking which became part of the decree of the court certainly amounts to contempt of court, irrespective of the fact that it is open to the decree holder to execute the decree. Contempt is a matter between the court and the alleged contemnor and is not affected in any manner by the rights or obligations of the parties to the litigation inter se.
The underlying concept was that it was not only a case of an agreement between the parties. The Court refraining from passing its own order shows its profundity so as to clothe it with the same power as would be of an order of the Court itself.
Equivalent Citation : 2011 (7)ALLMR 212
IN THE HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Writ Petition No. 5394 of 2010 and Civil Application No. 2974 of 2010
Decided On: 11.02.2011
Appellants: Sanjay Angad Chaddah
Vs.
Respondent: Deepa Sanjay Chaddah
Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
R.S. Dalvi, J.


Family - Interim Maintenance -Present petition filed for challenging order of maintenance grated to Respondent/wife - Held, impugned order, which had correctly considered both aforesaid aspects was yet rather in favour of Petitioner - It was once again directed to Petitioner to pay maintenance at rate agreed, but within an extended period of 3 months from order under proportionate installments - It once again granted access of son to mother during relevant period and called upon Petitioner to give programmed for access within 3 weeks - It was only in case of failure of such further directions, which were in consonance with agreement of Petitioner himself as reflected in consent terms and it was directed that his defence would be struck off - It was seen that even dates of access allowed under impugned order had passed - There was lot of substance in argument on behalf of mother/wife that father/husband just did not desire to give any access to her and had continuously procrastinated grant of access by frivolous applications and excuses - It may be mentioned that this was fit case to proceed to pass an order upon unmistakable contempt, willfully made by husband/father - Order passed by Court was correct and rather in favour of Petitioner - Writ petition dismissed
ORDER
R.S. Dalvi, J.
1. Rule. Made returnable forthwith.
2. The Petitioner husband has challenged the order of the Family Court Mumbai passed as a common order in three interim applications taken out by the Respondent wife.
3. The husband and the wife resided in the U.K after their marriage on 10th September 2004.
4. A child was born to the parties on 16th September 2005. The marriage was short lived. There have been continuous disputes between the parties with which this Writ Petition is not concerned.
5. An order came to be passed by the Royal Courts of Justice, Family Court Division in the High Court of Justice in London, U.K as a Residence and Contact Order under Section 8 of Children Act 1989 on 14th August 2007. That was a consent order. By consent of the parties it was ordered that the custody of the child was to be with the husband. Access was to be provided to the mother. The venue of the access was to be the home of the father. The access was to be in the jurisdiction of England and Wales. The husband was to fund the mother's traveling and accommodation costs for one 16 day period of contact per year. Once in a year the access was to be provided to the mother in India. That was to be on the dates, times and venues as agreed between the parties. The access was to be supervised. One Mr and Mrs. Patel or the paternal grandparents were to supervise the access. The paternal grandparents are residents of London. The father was to provide access on Webcam facilities with the mother at the times to be agreed. If there was to be any modification of those terms, the husband was to apply to the Court for directions with written notice to the mother and her Solicit Ors.
6. It is the contention of the mother that the access as agreed and directed in the Residence and Contact Order dated 14th August 2007 by the competent Court in England has never been provided. She contends that there was no access in England, there was no access on Webcam and there was not even a telephonic conversation allowed with the child. The husband contends that an access was provided in India on a certain occasion when he was in India. That was but once. That was not in consonance with the order dated 14th August, 2007.
7. Since the mother was in India, the mother filed her Petition as aforesaid. She took out 3 interim applications. Those were for:
1. Maintenance and residence accommodation.
2. for access to the child and
3. thereafter for contempt of the order of the Family Court.
8. The Petition was filed on 13th March 2009. The first two interim applications were also taken out on 13th March 2009. The husband appeared for the first time on 24th June 2009. He filed his written statement as also replies to the two applications taken out by the mother on 24th June 2009.
9. The parties were referred to the Marriage Counselor. The parties reconciled their dispute so far as an interim arrangement was concerned. The parties entered into and signed Consent Terms on 7th August 2009.
10. The Consent Terms in the main Petition was regarding access and interim maintenance.
Regarding access, the parties agreed that the husband would give vacation access to the mother in London on certain 16 days. He undertook to make to and fro traveling arrangement for her from Mumbai to London and for her stay in a nearby hotel in London. It was agreed that the access would be provided under supervision of Mr. Mohanbhai Patel during the access days. The access would be given every day preferably in the evening. The mother may even take the child for outing during the period of access along with the Supervisor. The husband undertook to provide access as agreed.
Regarding maintenance, the husband agreed to pay Rs. 15000/p.m. to the wife. That was to be under Pay Order in the name of Deepa Kohli payable before 5th day of every month. He undertook to send the pay order to the wife's Advocate's address.
Both the parties signed before the Marriage Counselor. The Consent Terms were submitted to the Court.
11. Such was the agreement entered into by the parties in terms of  the application made by one of them so that an order of the Court need not be based upon arguments. When the parties agree before the Marriage Counselor, the Court would accept the agreement and not pass any other order. If the agreement by way of Consent Terms is regarding access and interim maintenance, the application for access and interim maintenance would come to an end in terms of such an agreement. The agreement is, therefore, made to court. It is taken on record by the court. It is accepted by the Court. The parties are, therefore, bound and liable to perform their respective obligations and reciprocal promises under such an agreement. That agreement, like any other agreement is enforceable in law. It is, therefore, a legally enforceable contract. However that agreement, being made before the court, has higher and better sanctity. It assumes greater significance before the Court. Since it is made under the supervision of the Court officer and is, therefore, known to Court and accepted by the Court upon such an agreement the order of the Court is avoided and the court refrains from passing any other order.
12. It may at once be mentioned that this agreement before the Marriage Counselor, which is signed by the parties, accepted by the Court, taken on record and assumes the position of an order of the Court shows submission of both the parties to the jurisdiction of that Court.
13. The husband failed to obey, carry out or act upon that order also.
14. The wife, therefore, took out another application being the application on contempt. All these 3 aforesaid applications have been disposed off under the impugned order.
15. This is not a case where the husband has simplicitor avoided, evaded or disobeyed the order of the Court of the above nature. He has sought to overreach the Court. He has sought to cheat his wife and play fraud upon the Court.
16. That is by making another application on 7th August 2009 itself, the date on which he entered into and signed the Consent Terms and had the two applications for access and interim maintenance disposed off in terms of the Consent Terms.
17. That application is a handwritten application on a partly typewritten paper. Unlike the written statement and the other 3 applications, it is brief, concise and precise. It is made in Interim Application No. 83/2009, which is the application for custody and access taken out by the wife. The husband states that "the above said matter has been pronounced by the competent jurisdiction, which is based on private International Law and which is not in breach of any Court in India". Though the sentence is completely unintelligible, it shows that it makes a reference to a certain pronouncement of certain competent Court under private International Law. The only other pronouncement was the access order dated 14th August 2007 of the Court of England. The husband further states that the custody of the child is decided by the court in London. He refers to the copy of the judgment annexed to his reply already filed on 24th June 2009. He states that the child is a citizen of London (U.K.) and that he is a NRI. He relied upon certain 4 judgments and applied for dismissal. This partly typewritten and partly handwritten application was smuggled into the Court proceedings immediately after the Consent Terms came to be signed and filed by the parties. It is taken on record on 7th August 2009. The endorsement of the Court in the margin of the application shows that it was presented after settlement. It called upon the other side to file say. A copy of the application is stated not to have been received by the wife.
18. More than a month after the Consent Terms was signed and more than a month before the access was undertaken to be provided by the husband, a letter dated 13th September 2009 is shown to be addressed to the Marriage Counselor by Mohanbhai Patel, the Supervisor regarding his no availability to supervise the contact between the mother and the son during the dates stipulated i.e. 17th October 2009 to 1st November 2009. It is stated by the wife that that letter was also not received by her. It is stated on behalf of the husband by his Counsel that courier record is there to show the service. The courier record is not produced.
19. The letter is shown to be addressed to the Solicitors of both the mother and the father (the wife and the husband). Though the letter is addressed to the husband he claims that it was sent to the wife's Solicitor or Advocate. It is not known how. It is not his letter. He is as much an addressee as the wife's Solicitor. His Solicitor also received the letter as also himself. It is not known how the husband knows that the courier receipt is there, which of course is not produced.
20. The written statement of the husband/father shows that he was required to leave India for London by flight on the same day and hence he signed the Consent Terms and in fact left India. This statement shows his scant regard not only for his wife's application, the Counselor's efforts, the statutory exercise under the Act, but also the Court itself. He makes bold to state that by pretending to agree for access, he obtained for himself the passage to England that very day and that for the fact that he had to travel to England, he deemed it fit to sign and file his Consent and also his undertakings to acts he never intended to perform or honour at the time of and immediately after the Consent Terms were filed and soon thereafter.
21. This tent amounts to contempt in the face of Court. It is an admitted act of contempt by breach of an order obtained by way of Consent Terms never meant to be implemented or honored. It would, in fact, require to be disposed of summarily upon the contumacious conduct admitted by the husband/husband himself (See Leila David v. Sate of Maharashtra MANU/SC/1767/2009 : AIR 2010 SC 862.
22. The husband failed to give access as undertaken by him. The undertaking was breached. The breach of the undertaking is not denied. Justification of the breach is given. The justification is two fold:
1. That the Court had no jurisdiction
And
2. That the Supervisor made it impossible to have the Contract performed.
Both these justifications have been dealt with by the learned Judge correctly.
23. The undertaking is required to be scrupulously observed. Breach of an undertaking is analogous to the breach of an order of the Court. Breach of an order visits the contemnor with the punishment specified under Order 39 Rule 2A of the C.P.C as also Order 39 Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure If there is any impossibility in carrying out the contract, and that also which is made known more than a month prior to the date of the execution of the contract, it is for the husband who has sought to serve that letter upon all the parties through the courier to either appoint another Supervisor or to waive the requirement of the Supervisor. The inability of the Supervisor or the advise of the Supervisor of his unavailability to supervise would not constitute a Supervening impossibility under Section 56 of the Contract Act to enable the husband to throw his hands up and not give access and not have the order modified and not even offer the alternate venue, mode or time of the access. It is seen that the order is breached without any attempt at even having it obeyed with whatever modification it was capable of.
24. This breach has to be viewed alongside the husband's handwritten application presented to the Court on the same day the agreement and undertaking by way of Consent Terms was signed and filed.
25. Regarding the jurisdiction of the Court it is the case of the husband that the competent Court in England has passed an order of custody and maintenance which is binding on both the parties. That order constitutes a foreign judgment under Section 13 of the Code of Civil Procedure That order is passed by the competent Court on the merits of the case in the presence of both the parties, after hearing both the parties, recording the compromise and is not in breach of any law in force in India. It is certainly binding upon both the parties.
26. That is not the reason that parties by mutual consent in another Court where another application is filed cannot agree upon certain other similar terms by consent. In this case in fact what the parties have been agreed upon is not in variance with the order passed by the London Court. The parties have agreed upon certain specific access. The date of the access specified in the order is after the Consent Terms are signed. Further access for any further 16 days is not specified in the Consent Terms. The order of access which is contended to be binding upon both the parties by the husband passed by the London Court would, therefore, continue since the Consent Terms are not in derogation of or at variance with that order. Even the supervision to be provided, and which is agreed by the wife, is partly in accordance with the Consent Terms of the London Court. Strangely and surprisingly though in that order Mr and Mrs Patel are appointed Supervisors as also the paternal grandparents, in the Consent Terms in India only Mr. Patel is appointed Supervisor. Consequently, the other three supervisors being Mrs. Patel and the two paternal grandparents could have supervised if Mr. Patel was not available for that supervision.
27. The husband appears to have explained the inability of the Supervisor though the Supervisor has not. He contends that the supervisors were unpaid caretakers. This unpaid work continued for a few years after which he was constrained to take up a paid job. It need hardly be stated that unpaid employment would constitute slavery, which is a malaise of a past era. It is not expected to be practiced in current times. The husband mandatorily requires supervision to be provided. It is for him to make provision for such supervision. The two care takers of the child (presumably because of the absence of the mother who was in India) were Mr. & Mrs. Patel. Even if Mr. Patel was unavailable, Mrs. Patel was not shown to be so. The reply of the husband further shows that thereafter he incurred certain debts to pay Mr & Mrs. Patel for their supervision. If that was done, Mr. Patel could have continued the supervision. There were ways in which the Consent Terms could have been sufficiently complied. There was also enough time to have the same modified and obeyed. Justification shown of his breach and disobedience of the Consent Terms is, therefore, not justified. The husband is seen to have committed willful breach of his undertakings in the Consent Terms.
28. The depth of the solemn aspect of an undertaking given to Court has been considered since the case of Bajranglal Gangadhar Khemka and Anr. v. Kapurchand Ltd. MANU/MH/0014/1950 : AIR 1950 Bom 336, in the Division Bench judgment of Justice Chagla C.J and Gajendragadkar, J., as they then were. The giving of the undertaking in all orders and decrees of Court has been considered to mean an undertaking given to the Court. It is observed that the expression " a party undertakes" has borne the meaning that the undertaking has been to the Court.
That was a suit of specific performance of a contract. The Plaintiffs had an option to purchase the leased property which was sought to be sold to another without giving them the option. The parties compromised the action and executed Consent Terms. The Defendants were to execute a lease in favour of the Plaintiffs. The Defendants undertook to have the 3rd party joined as a confirming party to the lease and failed to execute the lease as agreed upon. The Plaintiffs called upon the Defendants to join the 3rd party as such and upon failure of the Defendants sued on contempt. The learned single Judge Bhagwati, J., as he then was, held that there was a willful default on the part of the Defendants, and ordered them to carry out the undertaking within one monthfrom the date of the order, failing which a warrant for committal of the Defendants to prison would be issued. It was contended on behalf of the Defendants that the undertaking was a mere solemn promise given to the Plaintiffs and that there was no undertaking to the Court such as to constitute contempt. Negativing that contention it was held by the Division Bench that there was no reason why even in a Consent Decree a party may not give an undertaking to the Court. It was observed that when the Court passed a decree it puts its imprimatur upon those terms and makes the terms a rule of the Court. It was, therefore, held that there was nothing contrary to any provision of law whereby an undertaking cannot be given by a party to the Court in a Consent Decree, which undertaking can be enforced in proper committal proceedings. It was observed that when an undertaking is given by a party to the Court, it becomes an order of the court and a particular mode is prescribed for enforcement of that particular order. That mode is the proceedings for contempt for enforcement of the order. The fact of giving of an undertaking to Court can be seen by looking at the Consent Decree itself. The Court considered the scheme of the agreement containing the undertaking and confirmed the order of the learned single Judge in directing compliance of the undertaking and dismissed the Appeal upholding the order of committal in case of its failure.
29. In a later short and concise judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Chhaganbhai Norsinbhai v. Soni Chandubhai Gordhanbhai MANU/SC/0078/1976 : (1976) 2 S.C.C. 951, again held that willful breach of an undertaking given to the Court amounted to its contempt.
In that case the Defendant undertook to the Court to handover the keys of the premises and vacate the premises within a specified time. He further undertook to pay manse profits and not part with its possession. Upon his failure, the Court observed that the order passed upon the undertakings would not be a mere Consent Order. It would be a case of express undertakings to the Court incorporated in that order. The contention on the part of the Contemnor that there was no breach of an undertaking and that it was a mere agreement between the parties to which an order of the Court has been appended was rebuked and rejected. The Supreme Court agreed with the High Court that it was a perverse and deliberate flouting of undertakings given by a litigant who, evidently, had no intention to abide by them. It was observed that the undertakings seemed to have been taken very lightly as mere cloaks for obtaining an order which would not have been passed, but for the undertakings. Hence the order of the High Court to convict the contemnor and sentence him to Civil jail was upheld observing from Halsbury's Laws of England - Fourth Edn. Vol. 9, page 44 (para 75) deals with the aspect of giving undertakings thus:
An undertaking given to the Court by a person or corporation in pending proceedings, on the faith of which the court sanctions a particular course of action or inaction, has the same force as an injunction made by the Court and a breach of the undertaking is misconduct amounting to contempt.
This has been cited with approval in the case of Chhaganbhai Norsinbhai v. Soni Chandubhai Gordhanbhai MANU/SC/0078/1976 : (1976) 2 S.C.C. 951.
30. Since any undertaking in any Consent Order is to be read as an undertaking given to the Court (Per Chagla C.J.) in the case of Bajranglal (Supra) breach of such undertaking was held to enable an application for contempt to be made.
31. The case of Bajranglal (supra) has been followed with approval by the Supreme Court in the case of Bank of Baroda v. Sadruddin Hasan Daya and Anr. MANU/SC/1031/2003 : (2004) 1 SCC 360, holding that:
The violation or breach of the undertaking which became part of the decree of the court certainly amounts to contempt of court, irrespective of the fact that it is open to the decree holder to execute the decree. Contempt is a matter between the court and the alleged contemnor and is not affected in any manner by the rights or obligations of the parties to the litigation inter se.
The underlying concept was that it was not only a case of an agreement between the parties. The Court refraining from passing its own order shows its profundity so as to clothe it with the same power as would be of an order of the Court itself.
32. With regard to the territorial jurisdiction of the Court to which the husband has taken exception, he has admittedly done so far too late. The Petition was filed on 13th March 2009. Two interim applications were taken out on 13th March 2009. The husband filed his written statement on 24th June 2009. He has not taken up any plea of the lack of territorial, inherent or pecuniary jurisdiction of the Family Court. He also filed a reply to two interim applications. In one of the replies, which related to the custody of the child, he did take an exception to the jurisdiction of the Court. That was on the ground that the custody of the child had been decided by the competent Court in London. That is true. In fact it is decided on the consent of the parties. Parties are bound by it. But the exception taken by the husband relates only to the aspect of custody. That is, therefore, the defense of the husband in the application of the wife for custody. That application has not been agitated. That application has not been decided. The parties preempted the Court from deciding that application by signing and filing the Consent Terms. Under the Consent Order only the access to the wife, which was also granted by the London Court, was dealt with. Only the dates of the access were fixed. That was the only difference in the Consent Terms. The supervision as also the provision for traveling expenses and the expenses for stay of the wife was the same. The husband has justifiably and fairly not taken exception to the jurisdiction of the Court in determining or granting or allowing to be granted by Consent of the parties access to the mother of the child as provided in the London Court order or in the Consent Terms before the Family Court.
33. The husband, therefore, submitted to the jurisdiction of the Court. The husband only replied and denied the right of the wife to claim custody. That is, in essence, his defence to that application. That would be decided by the Family Court at appropriate time. That has yet not been decided.
34. Knowing that he had submitted to the jurisdiction of the Court and upon his express admission in that behalf, the husband has taken out an application for amendment of his written statement. In paragraph 7 of that application he stated that he had mentioned about the judgment of the competent Court in his written statement "however, inadvertently the submissions and prayers that this Hon'ble Court has no jurisdiction to decide the issue of the custody/access regarding the son Garv remained to be stated ...." Alas a submission to the jurisdiction cannot be inadvertently omitted to be mentioned. It is mandatorily required to be mentioned at the first instance as per the mandate in Section 21 of the Code of Civil Procedure If that is not done and if written statement is filed, the party must be taken to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the Court for good. (See Indermani Kirtipal v. Union of India AIR 1567 SC 96 His application for amendment has been granted. However the application for amendment was made only as late as July 2010 well after submission to the jurisdiction, signing of the Consent Terms, filing the Consent Terms, breaching the Consent Terms being faced with an application for contempt and replying to that application also which was done on 14th December 2009. There has been no failure of justice by virtue of the exercise of the territorial jurisdiction of the Court or submission to such jurisdiction by the husband/father. In fact the same consent terms are agreed upon and signed as precisely done - only the date of the next access is different and naturally so. Hence even in a court lacking territorial jurisdiction, the challenge is unsustainable for want of failure of justice as per the last mandate under Section 21 itself (See Koopilan Uneen's daughter v. Koopilan Uneen's son MANU/SC/0372/1981 : AIR 1981 SC 1683)
35. It is argued on behalf of the wife that even in the reply to the 3 interim applications pursuant to which the impugned order came to be passed, the husband has not challenged the jurisdiction of the Court. Though that plea appears to have been taken, the husband has argued his defense on the merits of his case. His main plea is that he has not committed any contempt of the order of the Court because the Consent Terms would constitute only his agreement and is, therefore, not an order of the Court. This clearly ignores the undertakings given by him in the Consent Terms.
36. The husband has given 2 undertakings to the Court. The giving of the undertakings itself constitutes submission to the jurisdiction of the Court. The undertaking cannot be given to any one other than the Court. The undertakings are to make arrangement of to and fro tickets and the stay in the hotel for the wife during the access period. The undertaking is also to send the pay order of the maintenance amount to the wife's Advocate at her address. Hence on both the aspects - access and maintenance - the husband has given an undertaking to the Court.
37. The undertakings have been breached resulting in contempt of the order of the Court which in this case is under the Consent Terms dated 7th August 2009.
38. The impugned order, which has correctly considered both the aforesaid aspects is yet rather in favour of the husband. It once again directs the husband to pay the maintenance at the rate agreed, but within an extended period of 3 months from the order under proportionate installments. It once again grants access of the son to the mother during June - July 2010 and calls upon the husband to give the programmed for the access within 3 weeks. It is only in case of failure of such further directions, which are in consonance with the agreement of the husband himself as reflected in Consent Terms, it is directed that his defense would be struck off.
39. It is seen that even the dates of access allowed under the impugned order have passed. There is a lot of substance in the argument on behalf of the mother/wife that the father/husband just does not desire to give any access to her and has continuously procrastinated grant of access by frivolous applications and excuses.
40. It may be mentioned that this was a fit case to proceed to pass an order upon the unmistakable contempt, willfully made by the husband/father. The order passed by the Court is correct and rather in favour of the husband. That order is also breached. The consequences under the impugned order must follow.
41. The Writ Petition is misconceived as well as mischievous and is, therefore, dismissed.
42. Rule is discharged.
43. Consequently, the Civil Application No. 2974/2010 is disposed off as in fructuous.

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