The Delhi High Court on Thursday disposed of a contempt of court petition against former Union Minister and animal activist Maneka Gandhi after she tendered an unconditional apology for not mentioning in her article that there was a stay on an order banning sale of air guns.
Her counsel further assured a Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ravindra Bhat that she would also incorporate a necessary note in her book titled “Animal Law in Law” about the stay order if it was not vacated and the review petition was not decided.
The Court had in 2002 banned sale of air guns on a petition by The People for Animals.
However, the Court had later stayed the order on a bunch of review petitions filed by the National Rifle Association and others. The stay is still continuing.
In the meantime, Ms. Gandhi wrote an article in a newspaper saying that there was a ban by the Delhi High Court on sale of air guns, hiding the fact that the ban order was later stayed.
On reading the article, the National Rifle Association of India filed a contempt petition against her saying that she had violated the stay order. Ms. Gandhi hid the fact about the stay order in her book as well, the petitioner said.
Tendering an unconditional apology, Ms. Gandhi admitted her fault. She admitted that she should have verified the status of the review petition before writing the article.
The Court accepted the apology and disposed of the contempt petition.
Keywords: Contempt of court