Friday, 4 February 2022

Contempt of Court


The Supreme Court of India shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself as prescribed in the Article 129 of the Constitution of India. The Contempt of Court is of two types: Civil Contempt and Criminal Contempt.

  1. Civil contempt of courts (willful disobedience of the orders of the Court)

Civil contempt of court most often happens when someone fails to adhere to an order from the court, resulting, injury to a private party's rights.

For example, failure to pay court ordered child support can lead to punishment for civil contempt.

  1. Criminal Contempt of Court

  • Criminal Contempt means the publication (whether by words, spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise) of any matter or the doing of any other act whatsoever which

  • Scandalizes or tends to scandalize, or lowers or tends to lower the authority of any court, or prejudices, or interferes or tends to interfere with the due course of any judicial proceeding, or

  • Interferes or tends to interfere with, or obstructs tends to obstruct, the administration of justice in any other manner.

If any person acts in these ways he is liable under contempt of the Court Act, 1971.

  • Hiralal dixit v. State of UP

In this case, the SC has given elaborative definitions for the contempt of court:

  • An attempt by one party to prejudice the court against the other party to the action.

  • To stir up public feelings on the question pending for decision before the Court.

  • To try to influence the judge in favour of himself.

  • An attempt to affect the minds of the judges and to deflect them from performing their duty by flattering or wild threat, etc.

  • An act or publication which scandalizes the court attributing dishonesty, to a judge in discharging his functions (or) willful disobedience of orders of court is called contempt of court.

  • In Re: The Editor, Printer, Publisher, Times of India, Bombay & Delhi v. Arabinda Bose & Another

An article that is criticizing the SC decision and attributing improper motives to the judges, seeking to create an impression in the public mind that the SC Judges Act on extraneous considerations, held to be constituted contempt of court.

  • Delhi Judicial Service Association v. State of Gujarat and Others

One judicial magistrate was taken by the police after forcefully pouring alcohol in his mouth and took him to medical examination in the Government Hospital. The particular Munsiff Magistrate was hand cuffed by the police and taken to the police station. The police officer has not informed it to the district judge or HC. All these acts of the police are nothing but with a motivation to scandalize the reputation of the judge who is very ferocious & honestly working. So Delhi Judicial Service Association filed a case against this incident. The SC has taken it very seriously. They contended that this is only a subject and the constitutional provisions didn't attract the same, but the court said that contempt of court is for all not for only SC. SC punished all 5 officers including an IPS officer and sent to jail because of their actions, which amount to contempt of court.

  • Juhi Chawla v. Science and Engineering Research Board (5G Case)

Not only the parties to the suit any person can be prosecuted for contempt of court proceedings including a judge, magistrate or other person acting judicially shall also be liable for contempt of his own court or of any other court in the same manner.

In this 5G case, Juhi Chawla has shared the video conferencing link of the court on her social media accounts. While the proceedings were going on some unknown miscreants started singing the song ''Ghoonghat ki aad se" from Juhi Chawla’s movie. Sometime later, the same was repeated and after third time, the judge directed the Delhi Police that the person should be identified and a contempt notice be issued.

Contempt of Court by Velanati Jyothirmai at Lex Cliq

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