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UPSC Prelims 2022

H.N. Sanyal Committee - UPSC Prelims 2022 Question

Prelims General Studies Paper - 1

May 14, 2023

2 min read



Consider the following statements:

1. Pursuant to the report of H.N. Sanyal Committee, the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 was passed.
2. The Constitution of India empowers the supreme court and High court to punish for contempt of themselves.
3. The Constitution of India defines Civil Contempt and Criminal Contempt.
4. In India, the Parliament is vested with the powers to make laws on Contempt of Court.


Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


A. 1 and 2 only
B. 1, 2 and 4
C. 3 and 4 only
D. 3 only




The correct answer is B. 1, 2 and 4


In 1961, the H. N. Sanyal committee was established to conduct a thorough examination of the law and challenges associated with contempt of court. The committee's recommendations were widely accepted, leading to the enactment of the Contempt of Court Act in 1971 by the Parliament.


Under the Constitution of India, specifically Article 129 and 215, the Supreme Court and High Court respectively possess the authority to penalize individuals for contempt of court. These provisions grant them the power to take action against those who undermine the dignity and authority of the courts.


The Contempt of Courts Act of 1971, distinct from the Constitution, delineates the definitions and consequences of civil and criminal contempt. It serves as the primary legislation governing contemptuous behavior within the judicial system.


Additionally, Article 142(2) stipulates that the Supreme Court possesses comprehensive powers to issue orders and punish instances of contempt of court. However, these powers are subject to any laws enacted by Parliament pertaining to contempt of court. This provision highlights the legislative authority of Parliament to pass laws specifically addressing contemptuous actions directed at the judiciary.


Therefore, while the Constitution empowers the judiciary to punish contempt of court, the Parliament has the jurisdiction to enact laws related to the subject. This collaborative approach ensures that both branches of the government play their respective roles in maintaining the sanctity and effectiveness of the judicial system.


The Contempt of Court Act of 1971, influenced by the recommendations of the H. N. Sanyal committee, provides a legal framework for identifying and addressing instances of contemptuous behavior. By establishing clear definitions and procedures for handling contempt, the Act contributes to upholding the dignity and authority of the courts, thereby safeguarding the integrity of the justice system in India.

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