Advocate held guilty for criminal contempt of Court for making wild allegations against the Chief Justice

Allahabad High Court: While deciding the present contempt petition, where the contemnor via a Notice to the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice of India, had leveled serious allegations upon the present Chief Justice of this Court, the Division Bench of Sudhir Agarwal and Dinesh Gupta, JJ., held the contemnor guilty of criminal contempt of Court under Section 2(c) of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, for scandalizing and lowering the authority of the Chief Justice of this Court by calling him a “pro- Government Chief Justice”, and sentenced him to simple imprisonment of four months, along with fine of Rs. 1500. The Court also prohibited the contemnor from entering the premises of District Judgeship of Allahabad and the Allahabad High Court (including Lucknow Bench) for a period of six months.

As per the facts of the present case, the contemnor had alleged that the Chief Justice of this Court (D.Y. Chandrachud) is a “pro-government Chief Justice unfit for administration” and accused him of indulging in rampant corruption, and that the Chief Justice of India is in cahoots with him. The contemnor further alleged that the Supreme Court has become a hub of corrupt persons who are now legalizing the illegal acts of men in power. The Notice in question issued on 21.08.2014, was placed before a Litigation Committee, who observed that the Notice tantamounts to ex-facie contempt. The contemnor, R.K. Singh, appearing in person, argued that the allegations made in the Notice pertain to the administrative functioning of the Chief Justice of this Court, therefore it is outside the purview of criminal contempt under Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.

On careful perusal of the facts and arguments the Court observed that the contemnor has made severe allegations demeaning not only the Chief Justice of this Court, but also the Supreme Court of India. Publication of any matter or doing of any other act whatsoever which scandalizes or tends to scandalize or lowers or tends to lower the authority of any Court comes under the ambit of criminal contempt under Section 2 (c) (i) of 1971 Act. The Court referring Rachapudi Subba Rao v. Advocate General, (1981) 2 SCC 577, observed that vilification of a Judge even in administrative matters amounts to criminal contempt. The Court also observed that the contemnor did not present any evidence to substantiate his allegations. The Court finally stated that the wild allegations of the contemnor against the Chief Justice cannot be justified in any manner, and with the contemnor not showing even the slightest amount of remorse, leniency in this matter would cause a serious damage to the authority of the Court. Ram Kumar Singh In Re, 2015 SCC OnLine All 1131, decided 07.05.2015

 

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