Contempt Proceedings Initiated Against Union Minister Pokhriyal Stayed By Supreme Court in Non-Payment of Rent Case

The Supreme Court observed that a contract is void if prohibited by a statute under a penalty, even without express declaration that the contract is void

The Supreme Court on 26th October 2020, stayed the contempt proceedings initiated against the union minister and former CM of Uttarakhand, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ by the Uttarakhand High Court in a case concerning non-payment of rent.

The matter: the Uttarakhand High Court had required Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal to pay the dues and any such remaining amount that was outstanding. For the recovery of the stipulated amount from him and others, directions were given to the State Government and that the amount was to be paid in six months. The decision was taken against the ex-CMs of Uttarakhand who did not clear the dues. Against this order, a petition was filed by Ramesh Pokhriyal.

With respect to non-compliance of this order given by the High Court of Uttarakhand, again the matter rose up when an NGO filed a plea to bring the High Court’s attention to this case, yet again. This was followed by, show cause notices being sent to the Minister and others related for failing to pay the dues and complying with the order of the High Court. Consequently, contempt proceedings were initiated.

The decision of stay was given by a bench headed by Hon’ble Justice RF Nariman.