Madurai: Madurai Bench of the Madras High
Court has said "impracticable" court orders could not be
implemented by government officials or individuals, and it
would not be fair to haul them up for the same under the
Contempt of Courts Act 1971.
A Division Bench, comprising Justices R Banumathi and R
Subbiah, gave the ruling while dismissing a contempt petition
against Rajapalayam tahsildhar and panchayat union
commissioner and Dhalavaipuram panchayat chief for not
shifting a cremation ground as agreed by them before the
The court accepted the explanation of the officials that
the cremation ground could not be shifted due to opposition
from the villagers who were adamant on disposing bodies in the
original location and not cooperating with the authorities.
"Death, funeral rites and place of burial involve
emotions. At the time of death the grieved people cannot be
compelled to bury the body in the new location. The officials
say compelling the people will lead to law and order problem.
Besides death being occasional, officials cannot be compelled
to monitor the compliance of the court order."
"The purpose of contempt is not to enforce the order
passed by the court but maintain the dignity of the
institution. Contempt of court is a matter between the court
and the contemnor," the court said.