ANDHRA PRADESH HIGH COURT

If Bar Association pass resolutions to boycott Court it amounts to interfering with the course of justice

Even if a lawyer or the Bar Association feels that a Judge has misconduct himself, the boycott cannot be resorted to. Only such remedies as are provided under law can only be pursued and certainly boycott is not one of such methods.

“We have to say sternly about the attitude of the Bar Association in passing resolutions to boycott the first Court on 28-2-1996 and all the courts for the next two days thereby interfering with the course of justice. Even the lawyers, who were ready to argue their cases, were prevented from doing so. The said action is deprecated, as boycott of the courts is not one to be resorted to by the lawyers. Previously, there were boycotts when the police and executives committed attrocities on lawyers, to set-up the High Court Bench in coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh and for withdrawal of Nyaya Panchayat Bill etc. It is ununderstandable as to how the boycott will solve such problems. While the lawyers are enrolled for pleading the causes of their clients in quest rule of law which is the destination of our Constitutional scheme, the boycott striking the work, strikes at the root of rule of law; thus, paralysing the entire administration of justice. Any action by lawyers should be in aid of Constitution and should be progressive and not retrograde. If police and executives commit attrocities, the lawyers should take up the cause and fight it out in the courts of law to render justice to the victims, be it lawyers or other citizens.”

ANDHRA PRADESH HIGH COURT

FULL BENCH

( Before : Prabha Shankar Mishra, J; M.H.S. Ansari, J; B. Subhashan Reddy, J )

STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH — Appellant

Vs.

G.M. ANJAIAH — Respondent

C.C. No’s. 162 and 180 of 1996

Decided on : 09-05-1996

Constitution of India, 1950 – Article 129, Article 215
Advocates Act, 1961-Section 35

Counsel for Appearing Parties

Advocate General, for the Appellant; G.M. Anjaiah, Koneti Raja Reddy, V. Eswariah, L. Ravichander and C.V. Mohan Reddy, for the Respondent

JUDGMENT

B. Subhashan Reddy, J.—The Constitutional functionaries, we are, entrusted with the task of strain-filled adjudicatory process dealing not only in ordinary litigation, but also of complex problems, be it constitutional, legal, medico-legal and even politico-legal. But, unpleasant is the task and added is the strain, when a litigation of this type erupts where we have to deal with a part of our own system i.e., Bar. But, undeterred, to uphold the decorum, dignity of the Court and supremacy of Rule of Law and to keep the flag of majesty of the Court flying always high, we thus proceed.

2. Sri. G. M. Anjaiah, Advocate-respondent (contemner) is not an youngster. He is 65 years old. He is not a novice to legal profession and had been a legal practitioner since last about 30 years.

3. On 27-2-1996, the respondents was sitting in the first Court waiting for his turn to argue for the appellant in W.A.S.R. No. 17949 of 1996 and W.A.M.P. No. 282 of 1996 to whom he was the counsel. Questioning the reconstitution of Public Works Committee of Secundarabad Cantonment Board, W.P. No. 26135 of 1995 was filed and against its dismissal, the above writ appeal was preferred. Stay of holding of the meeting of the reconstitution of the Public Works Committee convened by the Executive Officer of Secunderabad Cantonment Board was sought for, alleging that the same was in violation of the Cantonment Boards Act and the rules framed thereunder. The matter was in the list of the first Court on 23-2-1996. But, as the Full Bench hearing was going on in the first Court, the matter could not reach and on a mention being made by the respondent as also by some other counsel, whose matters did not reach, were directed to be listed-up before the second Court comprising of Justice Lingaraja Rath and Justice B. K. Somasekhara. Then in the above matter relating to this contempt, the second Court had granted stay of giving effect to the resolution of the reconstituted Public Works Committee, if any, passed on 24-2-1996, on which date the meeting of the Committee was convened. The stay, however, was limited till 27-2-1996. On 27-2-1996, the said case was listed at page 4 as item 9 in the first Court’s list. The first Court comprising of the Chief Justice and Justice M.H.S. Ansari sat for the business of the Court and was hearing the matters. As usual, the matters were being called in seriatum and by 1-30 p.m. when the Bench rose for lunch recess, a case on first page was going on and the respondent made a mention to the Court in the forenoon that the matter was urgent and the same may be taken-up on out of turn basis, but the Court had asked him to wait. After lunch recess at 2-15 p.m. the respondent had again made a mention to take-up his case out of order, but the Court had asked him to wait as it was in the midst of hearing another matter. The Court had to rise at 3-30 p.m. for deliberations in Administrative Committee meeting to be presided by the Chief Justice. At 3-20 p.m. the first Court asked the counsel present there including the respondent to mention if there are any urgent matters. Then the respondent mentioned the matter which he was eager to argue and which he had mentioned thrice on that day to take-up out of order. After hearing the matter, the first Court felt that there was no such urgency which could not wait till the next day and more so, when the counsel for the respondent in the writ appeal was not present and when the respondent expressed his apprehension that the matter would become infructuous next day, the first court allayed his apprehension stating that if the matter is admitted, adverse decision, if any, taken against the appellant, would be reversed; but the respondent was not satisfied and was unrelenting. He went on insisting that the matter was urgent in spite of the fact that the Court answered in the negative. The respondent flared up and in high tone, to the annoyance of the Court and in intimidatory manner went on arguing that the Court’s observation that the matter was not urgent was not correct, as the same Court having felt urgency on 23-2-1996, posted the matter before the second Court and the second court having felt the matter urgent passed interim orders limiting to 27-2-1996, that it could not be said that there was no urgency in the matter and that stay orders were bound to be extended. As the Court felt that the respondent’s conduct crossing condonable limits of an Advocate as he was indulging in intimidatory tactics by shouting at the Court, it has warned him that he will be hauled-up for the contempt of the Court, which was committed in the face of the Court. But, the respondent in a rage, shouted at the Court that he was a responsible and senior Advocate, that he too has self-respect and that the Court cannot deal him in that fashion. The Court had no alternative, but to express that the respondent had committed contempt in the face of the Court and asked him to wait so as to serve a notice of show cause and to deal with the matter immediately and the show cause notice was dictated even ordering the arrest of the respondent and then both the learned Judges retired to the chambers of the Chief Justice. Meanwhile, two Police Constables were also summoned and they were present in the first Court hall. When the Chief Justice and Justice M.H.S. Ansari entered the chambers of the Chief Justice adjoining the first Court, the Administrative Committee members were present excepting Justice M. N. Rao, who came into chambers after the respondent had left the chambers. The Administrative Committee comprises of the Chief Justice, Justice Lingaraja Rath, Justice M. N. Rao, Justice Syed Shah Mohammed Quadri, Justice Y. Bhaskar Rao, Justice S. Parvatha Rao and Justice P. Venkatarami Reddy. Justice M.H.S. Ansari left for his chambers. The respondent then entered the chambers of the Chief Justice. The chief Justice had questioned the respondent as to how he behaved like that and said that it was not the first time that he indulged in such intimidatory tactics to overawe the Court to wrench favourable decisions, that he was told that, even before, he practised such methods and that at least there are three written orders to his knowledge where the learned Judges refused to hear his cases because he behaved in such intimidatory manner. The respondent shed tears and expressed regrets and also said that he had high respect for the judiciary, that because of the judiciary, he was able to survive and that he had fought many a battle against the atrocities committed by the Executives or Politicians. It is said that some time before, he had presented a Book on Socialism authorised by Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, of whom, the respondent claims to be a staunch supporter, to the Chief Justice and the Chief Justice had advised the respondent to practise the said principles so that others also emulate him. The Chief Justice had informed the respondent that he was free to go as he had expressed his regrets and agreed to file written apology in the court, the next day. The arrest part, was, therefore, dropped. The respondent then left the chambers of the Chief Justice. Thereafter, there was slogan shouting outside the chambers of the Chief Justice by some people resulting in commotion and on hearing the same, the other learned Judge including Justice B. Subhashan Reddy and Justice M.H.S. Ansari, went into the chambers of the Chief Justice, and so did other Judges excepting very few, who had left the Court unknowing of the incident. Mr. V. Venkataramanaiah, Advocate-General also came, in fact before, some of the Judges entered the chambers of the Chief Justice and then came Mr. T. Bali Reddy, President of the Andhra Pradesh High Court Advocates Association and Mr. K. G. Kannabhiran, a senior Advocate, Mr. K. G. Kannabhiran at first appeared to be agitated, but on the Chief Justice telling him as to what had transpired in the Court and Justice Lingaraja Rath telling him as to what had transpired in the chambers of the Chief Justice leading to the expressing of regrets by the respondent, he was satisfied and went out to bring the respondent, who was in the mob outside, but that was not to be. After waiting for considerable time when Mr. K. G. Kannabhiran was called in, he told the Chief Justice that the respondent did not admit of expressing any regrets, that he was reiterating that no contempt was committed by him and that he entered the chambers of the Chief Justice on being called by the Registrar and that tears rolled by when the Chief Justice asked him as to why he behaves in the Courts like that even incurring the wrath of three learned Judges, who passed written orders not to post his cases before them. Thereafter, the Advocate-General, Mr. T. Bali Reddy and Mr. K. G. Kannabhiran left the chambers of the Chief Justice and the respondent and others, who had gathered outside the chambers of the Chief Justice, dispersed. Later, it came to be known that advocates gathered in the Association hall of the Advocates.

4. As the respondent had resiled after tendering apology, the Court was constrained to proceed further with contempt and the show cause notice was served on the respondent on the same day at about 8-00 p.m. calling upon him to show cause on the next day at 10-30 a.m. by being present in person as to why he should not be committed for contempt of Court for the incident narrated above.

5. The respondent had appeared in person on the next day and asked for time to time have legal advise and also to prepare counter and if necessary move the Supreme Court for transfer of the case. Even though the Court was not obliged to grant any such time as the respondent was given sufficient time, in all fairness, the Court had granted time. For the incident happened on 27-2-1996, C.C. No. 162/96 was initiated and it was adjourned to 7-3-1996 at the instance of the respondent. There was yet another Contempt Case No. 180 of 1996, which was initiated not only against the respondent, but also against five Advocates, namely, M/s. Ramachandra Raju. K. L. N. Prasad, K. V. N. Bhupal, Y. Srinivasa Murthy and M. Ravindranath Reddy, for their alleged slogan shouting and other contemptous behaviour against the Chief Justice and other Judges of the Court outside the chambers of the Chief Justice. The same was an aggravated form of contempt and the show cause notices dated : 28-2-1996 were issued to them to be present in the Court on 7-3-1996 at 10-30 a.m. The statement of facts and the report of the Registrar (Administration), which was submitted after identifying the Advocates of having indulged in slogan shouting resulting in contempt of Court were served upon them. The Advocates Association purportedly passed resolution to boycott the first Court, in the late evening hours on 27-2-1996 and on the subsequent day, a resolution to boycott all the Courts from the next day onwards.

6. In response to the above notices, the respondent and M/s. C. Ramachandra Raju. K. V. N. Bhupal, Y. Srinivasa Murthy and M. Ravindranath Reddy appeared in person and obtained time for engaging Advocates and filing counter-affidavits, while it was reported that there was no Advocate by name K. L. N. Prasad; as such, his name was struck off. Both the cases were taken-up on 7-3-1996 and the respondent even though filed counter in C.C. No. 162 of 1996, sought time of one week to file counteraffidavit in C.C. No. 180 of 1996 and also for preparation of the cases. The other contemners in C.C. No. 180 of 1996 prayed time till next Monday i.e., 11-3-1996 and accordingly the same was adjourned and their affidavits were filed on that day and for the purpose of filing of the counter-affidavit of the respondent, the case was adjourned to 14-3-1996. On the said date, the respondent also filed his counter-affidavit. The four other contemners in C.C. No. 180 of 1996 even though admitted as having been present in the mob of Advocates on 27-2-1996 denied to have indulged in slogan shouting and expressed that they had utmost respect for the Court and for the decorum, dignity and rule of law and this Court giving benefit of doubt, had exonerated them of the contempt charge and the contempt proceedings against them were accordingly dropped.

7. The respondent in his affidavits filed separately in answer to the contempt notices in C.C. Nos. 162 and 180 of 1996 submitted that he did not commit any contempt of Court and in fact, the first Court was not kind to him and exceeded its powers, that he was astonished by the conduct of the Court in arresting him within the four corners of the Court and asserted that such a thing had never happened in the entire history of judiciary all over the world and that it was unprecedented. He admits in his counter that even while the first Court after hearing his matter felt no urgency and expressed that it could be heard next day when the counsel for the opposition was present, that even any adverse order was passed, it could be reversed, that he questioned the first Court that how come when it felt urgency on 23-2-1996, the same urgency was not felt on the said date and went ahead with his argument that it was a case for extension of interim order and that it cannot wait any longer. He also admits that the first Court cautioned him that he was committing contempt of Court and dictated the order then and there only, even ordering his arrest immediately and then the Chief Justice and Justice M.H.S. Ansari retired to chambers. He, however, denies that he shouted at the Court. But, in the affidavit filed in C.C. No. 180 of 1996, he admits that he addressed the Court in raised voice, but defends himself stating that addressing the Court in raised voice will not amount to contempt of Court. It may be apt to extract those statements made in his affidavits in both the Contempt cases.

C.C. No. 162/96

“The respondent, who was the counsel for the appellant in W.A.S.R. No. 1749/96 further submitted that the Executive Officer of the Secunderabad Cantonment Board, who is the respondent No. 12 in the above appeal, was bent upon implementing the decisions taken by the Public Works Committee on 24-2-1996 and if the interim order obtained by the appellants is not extended pending admission of the appeal, the object and purpose of filing the appeal would be frustrated. Then the Hon’ble the Chief Justice told the respondent that if the Executive Officer of the Secunderabad Cantonment Board implements the decisions taken by the Public Works Committee, the Court can reverse it, if the appeal is admitted and further told the respondent that he does not see any urgency in the case to extend the interim order. The respondent submitted to the Court that when the Hon’ble the Chief Justice on 23-2-1996 was satisfied of the existence of urgency for obtaining interim order in the above appeal and transferred the above appeal to another Bench and when the appellants have obtained interim orders it cannot be said that there was no urgency in the matter. Then the Hon’ble Mr. Chief Justice flew into anger and stated that the respondent was addressing the Court by raising his voice and raising the voice by the respondent amounts to Contempt of Court. The Hon’ble the Chief Justice ordered the arrest of the respondent within the four walls of the Court room and called the Stenographer and started dictating the order for the arrest of the respondent alleging that the respondent committed Contempt of Court as he addressed the Court by raising his voice. Then the respondent said that he was an Officer of the Court and he too has self-respect and dignity and the Court cannot deprive his liberty by ordering his arrest without following the due procedure of law. Then the Hon’ble the Chief Justice raised his voice and shouted at the respondent that he was further committing Contempt of Court. Then the respondent told the Hon’ble the Chief Justice that he cannot pounce upon the respondent when the respondent was discharging his duties towards his clients.”

“The respondent strongly feels that the Hon’ble the Chief Justice by ordering his arrest, who is the counsel for the appellants in W.A.S.R. No. 17949/96 in the four walls of the Court room and allowing the policemen to enter into the Court room would amount to defiling the sanctity and sacred precincts of the abode of Justice. In the entire history of Judiciary all over the world, it was for the first time that the Hon’ble the Chief Justice of the High Court of A.P. ordered the arrest of the respondent (Advocate) while he was arguing the case of his clients within the four walls of the Court. It is submitted that the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 cannot be made applicable to an Advocate (that is, the respondent herein) and order the arrest of an Advocate while he was discharging his duties towards his clients by arguing a case within the four walls of the court room on the ground that the Advocate addressed the Court by raising his voice.”

C.C. No. 180/96 :

“I respectfully state that the Hon’ble the Chief Justice was not right in ordering my arrest on 27-2-1996 on the ground that I addressed the Court by raising my voice (while arguing the case of my client’s). The Hon’ble the Chief Justice erred in construing the raising of voice as Contempt of court.”

8. The facts are thus clear that the respondent while arguing the case of his client felt that there was imminent urgency for the grant of orders of stay by extending the same further, while the Court felt that there was no urgency, and said that the counsel in opposition was not present then and that it can wait till next day and that after hearing both the parties, the matter will be considered as to admission of the writ appeal and if it is admitted, the orders will be passed and in the interregnum if any adverse action is taken by the Secunderabad Cantonment Board, that would be undone, but the respondent was not satisfied with the Court’s opinion and persisted and pestered further defiantly by raising his voice that the opinion of the Court that there was no urgency was wrong and that stay orders had to be extended.

9. The respondent is an Advocate and is governed by the Advocates Act and the Legal Practitioners Act. Rules have been framed under the said statutes. Advocate is licensed to argue for his client, but that does not mean that the licence for freelance advocacy. It is not that Advocate cannot pursue his argument, that he should be meek and should sacrifice the cause of his client and surrender to the Court. The tenor of argument may be vehement but should not be voilent. It may be forceful, but not frightful. It may not be subservient, but should not be overawing or over-reaching. It should be persuasive, but not intimidatory. Oswald on Contempt (3rd edn. p. 54) said that oversubervient bar would be one of the great misfortunes that could happen to the administration of justice. At the same time, Warvelle on Legal Ethics p. 182, felt the need for a lawyer to observe scrupulously the decorum of the court room and be deferential to Judges. A client arguing a case as party-in-person and who is not legally trained may not know the etiquettes of the Court and limitations therein. But, an Advocate and more so, the respondent having 30 years standing at the Bar should know how to address the Court and it cannot be expected of him that he is ignorant of such procedure. He projected the case of his client and tried to make out a case that it was urgent for grant of interim orders, but on hearing him, the court felt otherwise and the respondent had to stop. The further step of the respondent in questioning the authority of the Court that the Court was wrong in opining that there was no urgency and that the very same court when it felt urgency on 23-2-1996, it committed wrong in feeling that there was no urgency on 27-2-1996 and that too addressing the Court in a raised tone amounted to contempt in the face of the Court and the respondent was brow-beating the Court indulging in intimidatory tactics to wrench order in his favour. While the argument is welcome and which is the right of the Advocate, there is no right vested in any Advocate to go on in his own fashion even intimidating the court and even defiantly till the Court concedes his request. Raising the tone does amount to shouting and may be not in the perception of the respondent. When the court rules against the Advocate’s argument and the Advocate defies the decision of the Court in a raised voice, it only amounts to shouting at the Court. Though no dictionary needs to be cited, ‘The Readers Digest Great Encyclopaedic Dictionary’ defines the word ‘shout’ as loud cry expressing ….. defiance …..’ Thus, it is a clear case where the respondent had committed contempt in the face of the Court on 27-2-1996. The respondent’s contention that his conduct did not amount to contempt of Court and that he was arguing as an Advocate in the Court hall for the cause of his client, he cannot be said to have committed contempt of court and that an Advocate arguing the case for the cause of his cleint, cannot be arrested within the precincts of the Court and that the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 is not applicable to an Advocate arguing the case, are baseless and are made without knowing the principles of law relating to Contempt of Court and more so a contempt committed in the face of the Court for which a special provision is made in S. 14 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. It is not that right to punish the contemner in the face of the Court is drafted for the first time in the above statute. This kind of contempt is sui generis and has been recognised since the times immemorial. Lord Denning in his book ‘The due process of Law, 1980’ said that contempt in the face of the Court is an old phrase, even tracing to the year 1631, where Richardson, Chief Justice of C.B. at the assizes at Salisbury was assaulted by a prisoner. Barristers are no exception (The Halsbury’s Law of England, 3rd Edn. 8th vol.). That apart Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 is only an addition to the plenary powers, which the Courts of record, i.e. the Supreme Court and the High Courts possess under the Constitution under Articles 129 and 215 respectively. Even before the framing of the Constitution, having regard to the fact that the superior Courts were Courts of Record, this power was felt necessary and was being exercised. Blackstone, in his commentaries on the Laws of England (16th Edn. p. 286) held that if the contempt be committed in the face of the Court, the offender will be instantly apprehended and imprisoned, at the discretion of the Judges. Oswald on Contempt (3rd Edn. p. 23) said “upon contempt in the face of the Court and order of committal was made ‘instanter’ and not on motion. The contempt in the face of the Court covers all contempts for which a Judge on his own motion could punish a man on the spot and the contempt in the face of the Court is the same as contempt which the Court can punish on its own motion and it really means contempt in the cognizance of the Court.” In the very nature of the power to commit the contemner of the contempt committed in the face of the Court, it empowers the Court to arrest the contemner at once even if the precincts of the Court and for that purpose there is no distinction made out whether he is a stranger, litigant or lawyer. The criterion is the contempt committed in the face of the Court regardless of the distinction with regard to the person and there is no privilege conferred if the contempt is committed by person other than the litigant. No person, however, high in position, including an Advocate, is above the law and more so of the contempt, which power is unique and vested in the courts of record so as to set the things right to maintain the decorum and dignity of the Court and uphold the supremacy and majesty of law as the entire edifice of the Constitution is based on this supremacy and majesty of law and if it fails, democracy will be in peril and everything perishes. The procedure and the punishment in a case of contempt committed in the face of the Court are summary and in their very nature, they need be summary as they cannot wait for a long and the respondent need not have felt any surprise when he was hauled-up in the Court and was ordered to be arrested right then. There is a power for the court and the power has been properly exercised. The very object of S. 14 is to enable the Court to preserve its decorum and maintain is dignity. But for his remorse felt and expressing regrets, the respondent could have been served upon him then and there itself and the matter would have been dealt with after affording opportunity. Unpleasantness was set at rest by the Chief Justice because of tendering of apology by the respondent. But, as he had resiled from the stand that he had tendered apology and persisted in defying the authority of the court even indulging in abusive language and also in preventing other advocates from presenting their cases, the proceedings for contempt were continued, firstly in CC No. 162 of 1996 and then in C.C. No. 180 of 1996.

10. It is stated in Halsbury’s Laws (3rd Edn. vol. 8 p. 5) that power to fine and imprison for a contempt committed in the face of the Court is a necessary incidence to every Court of Justice. Lord Denning in Morris v. The Crown Office 1970 (1) All ER 1079 said that contempt in the face of the Court is a necessary incident to every Court of justice to fine and imprison and that of all the places where law and order must be maintained, it is here in these courts. He has reiterated the same proposition in Balogh v. Crown Court 1974 (3) All ER 283 that this power of summary punishment is a crown power, but is a necessary power and that it is given so as to maintain the dignity and authority of a Judge to ensure a fair trial and properly exercised, the power is of the utmost value and importance, which should not be curtailed. Lord Denning in his book “The Due Process of Law-I (1980) further held that” If due process is necessary to keep the streams of justice clear and pure, contempt might be necessary in extreme cases to keep them from becoming entirely stopped.

11. The Supreme Court in Mohd. Zahir Khan Vs. Vijai Singh and others, directed the contemner not to leave the Court as it was also a contempt in the face of the Court. The Registry was directed to forthwith serve contempt notice on the contemner and to post the matter on the same day at 12-45 p.m. The contemner was asked to file a reply in writing. The contemner did not repent as is in the instant case, but defended his action.

In the said case, Justice A. M. Ahmadi, speaking for the Supreme Court, said that they were not concerned with the history or merits of the case, but was concerned with the contemner’s misbehaviour and utterances which were contemptible perse i.e. in the face of the Court. It was also held that the contemner deliberately used insulting language to overawe the Court with a view to securing favourable orders. It was cautioned, that of late, this type of behaviour was on the increase and felt a need to stop that behaviour at the earliest.

12. In Pritam Pal Vs. High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur through Registrar, , the Supreme Court was dealing with an Advocate’s contempt making libelous allegations against the sitting Judges of the High Court. In the said case, the Advocate was practising in Madhya Pradesh High Court and having failed to wrench a decision is his favour, has escalatingly scandalilsed the Court by making libellous allegations against the sitting Judges of that High Court. He was punished for contempt of Court by the High Court and the same was upheld by the Supreme Court.

13. In K.A. Mohammed Ali Vs. C.N. Prasannan, : the Supreme Court dealing with a contempt, held that Advocate raising pitch of his voice unusually high to the annoyance of the Magistrate and also using derogatory language against the Magistrate before whom he was conducting trial for an accused, is a criminal contempt. It was held as follows at page 455; of AIR :

“We are of the view that when the appellant was warned of his unruly behaviour, he should have stopped and gone in tune with the learned Magistrate and not retained a defiant and aggressive posture. It should be borne in mind by one and all that lawyers were created for the Courts, not Courts for the lawyers. The happy combination, whenever an aberration occurs, should it immediately be restored and put any even keel”.

In the said case, even the apology was not accepted, as it was too late in a day.

14. In L.D. Jaikwal Vs. State of U.P., , an Advocate misconducted before the Court and was punished for contempt of Court. The Supreme Court declined to interfere with the judgment of the High Court even though apology was tendered by the Advocate. The Supreme Court held “we have yet to come across a Judge who can take a decision which does not displease one side or the other. By the very nature of his work, he has to decide matters against one or other of the parties. If fact that he renders a decision which is resented by a litigant or his lawyer were to expose him to such risk, it will sound the death knell of the institution. A line has, therefore, to be drawn somewhere, some day by some one. That is why the Court is impelled to act (rather than merely sermonize) much as the Court dislikes imposing punishment whilst exercising the contempt jurisdiction, which no doubt has to be exercised very sparingly and with circumspection. We do not think that we can adopt an attitude of unmerited leniency at the cost of principle and at the expense of the Judge, who has been scandalized. We are fully aware that it is not very difficult to show magnanimity whey some one else is the victim rather than when oneself is the victim. To pursue a populist line of showing indulgence is not very difficult – in fact it is more difficult to resist the temptation to do so rather than to adhere to the nail-studded path of duty. Institutional perspective demands that considerations of populism are not allowed to obstruct the path of duty. We, therefore, cannot take a lenient or indulgent view of this matter. We dread the day when a Judge cannot work with independence by reason of the fear that a disgruntled member of the Bar can publicly humiliate him and heap disgrace on him with impunity, if any of his orders or the decision rendered by him, displeases any of the Advocates appearing in the matter.”

The Supreme Court further held “we firmly believe that considerations regarding maintenance of the independence of the judiciary and the morale of the Judges demand that we do not allow the appellant to escape with impunity on the mere tendering of an apology, which in any case, does not wipe out the mischief …..”

In the said case, the Advocate, who appeared for a client in a shirt and trouser written a letter to the Judge accusing him that he was corrupt when his client was convicted of a criminal offence and was sentenced to four years rigorous imprisonment. The conviction of Advocate by the High Court was upheld by the Supreme Court and even the apology tendered was not accepted.

15. In re: Vinay Chandra Mishra (the alleged contemner), , the Supreme Court dealt with a similar in facie curiae contempt under S. 14 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. In the said case, the contemner was a senior Advocate and even the Chairman of the Bar Council of India and was defiant when a Judge of Allahabad High Court posed a legal question, which resulted in initiation of contempt proceedings and the Supreme Court held him liable for contempt of Court. Justice P. B. Sawant speaking for the 3-Bench of the Supreme Court held that a Lawyer has to be a gentleman first. His most valuable asset is the respect and goodwill he enjoys among his colleagues and in the court. Brazeness is not outspokenness and arrogance is not fearlessness. Use of intemperate language is not assertion of right nor is a threat an argument. Humility is not servility and courtesy and politeness are not lack of dignity. Self-restraint and respectful attitude towards the Court, presentation of correct facts and law with a balanced mind and without overstatement, suppression, distortion or embelishment are requisites of good advocacy. If the judiciary is to perform its duties and functions effectively and true to the spirit with which they are sacredly entrusted to it, the dignity and authority of the Courts have to be respected and protected at all costs. Otherwise, the very cornerstone of our constitutional scheme will give way and with it will disappear the rule of law and the civilzed life in the Society. No one expects a lawyer to be subservient to the Courts while presenting his case and not to put forward his arguments merely because Court is against him, but he is not expected to be discourteous to the Court or to fling hot words or epithets or use disrespectful, derogatory or threatening language or exhibiting temper, which has the effect of overbearing the Court. The foundation of the judiciary is the trust and confidence of the people in its ability to deliver fearless and impartial justice. When the foundation itself is shaken by acts which tend to create disaffection and disrespect for the authority of the Court by creating distruct in its working, the edifice of the judicial system gets eroded. The rule of law is the foundation of a democratic society. The judiciary is the guardian of the rule of law. Hence, judiciary is not only the third pillar, but the central pillar of the democratic State. In a democracy like ours, where there is a written Constitution, which is above all individuals and institutions and where the power of judicial review is vested in the superior Courts, the judiciary has a special and additional duty to perform, viz., to oversee that all individuals and institutions including the executive and the legislature act within the frame work of not only the law, but also the fundamental law of the land. This duty is apart from the function of adjudicating the disputes between the parties, which is essential of peaceful and orderly development of society.”

16. In Jaswant Singh Vs. Virender Singh and others, Dr. A. S. Anand, J. speaking for the Supreme Court held “an Advocate has to wider protection than a layman when he commits an act which amounts to contempt of Court. It is most unbefitting for an Advocate to make imputations against the Judge only because he does not get the expected result, which according to him in the fair and reasonable result available to him. Judges cannot be intimidated to seek favourable orders. Only because a lawyer appears as a party in person, he does not get a licence thereby to commit contempt of Court by intimidating the Judges or scandalising the courts. He cannot use language, either in the pleadings or during arguments, which is either intemperate or unparliamentary. These safeguards are not for the protection of any Judge individually, but are essential for maintaining the dignity and decorum of the Courts and for upholding the majesty of law.

17 In Re: Sanjiv Datta and Others, , the Supreme Court even went to the extent of saying that the offence of contempt of court is committed not only by the author of the offensive document, but also by those who filed the same in the Court. In the said case, an Advocate on record, who drafted the affidavit and filed into Court, was found to be liable for contempt of Court; but, having regard to the explanation given by the said Advocate, it was held that there was no wilful disobedience as the same was filed without having opportunity to peruse the same.

18. The Division Bench of Madras High Court in Bar Association, Dharmapuri v. P. Shanmmugham 1996 (1) MLW 38 dealt with a contempt committed by an Advocate. The contemner in the said case was unhappy since the District Munsif was refused to oblige him to accept his contentions and to pass the orders as he wanted, created a scene in the court by addressing the Presiding Officer in intemperate language and by shouting at the Court. The contention of the contemner therein that he was only performing his duty as an outspoken and fearless member of the Bar was negatived. The Court held that the contemner had failed to follow the self-restraint and respectful attitude towards the court, and that it cannot be disputed that his acts per se amounted to criminal contempt. The Court even went to the extent of saying “failure on the part of this Court to punish the offender like the respondent on an occasion such as this would thus be a failure to perform one of its essential duties solemnly entrusted to it by the Constitution and the people. We impose the maximum fine of Rs. 2,000/- on the respondent.”

19. There is yet another decision of a Division Bench of the Madras High Court in Re. Ranka M. Advocate 1996 (1) MLW 203 which was a suo motu contempt against the Advocate, who had committed the contempt in the face of the Court. The said Advocate appearing in the case shouted at the Court – A Division Bench comprising Justice Srinivasan and Justice Abdul Waheer – and prevented the Court from expressing its observations, which it wanted to make in the course of arguments. The Advocate-contemner, in the said case, pleaded that he did not shout at the Court, but the same was disbelieved by the Court. Even the plea that nobody can become a villian overnight, meaning to say that even if the Court feels that he had committed, as the same was for the first time, no action should be taken, was repelled. The Court said that the above plea has no relevance as that was not the first occasion when Mr. Ranka shouted at the Court.

20. In this case too, it is not that the respondent had behaved in this fashion for the first time. There are at least three written orders, which could be traced, copies of the orders have been served upon the respondent before hearing and he was also heard to comment about the same and the respondent tried to explain the situations under which the said orders came to be passed, but not satisfactorily. Out of the 3 cases referred to above, first in order was a land grabbing case, which was initiated in O.P. No. 424 of 1988 on the file of the Court of the Chief Judge, City Civil Court, Hyderabad (the Tribunal for land grabbing cases) presided by a senior District Judge Mr. Mohan Rami Reddy. The respondent herein was the 2nd respondent there on the charge of land grabbing. The case was instituted by the Co-operative Housing Civilian Employees Defence Services, Secunderabad. In the said case, the respondent filed a counter questioning the averments made by the petitioner and filed a Memo S.R. No. 2021 of 1991 styling it as an open letter and went on arguing that the said Court went wrong in issuing notice to him and called upon the Court to express regrets by tendering apology to him for issuing the notice and even at the time of arguments, he went on asserting and demanding the same. Before considering the conduct of the respondent, some facts were stated by the said Court to depict that the comments of the respondent were unwarranted. In conclusion, by order dated 9-5-1991, the Court stated;

“However, it is to be seen that whether he has a case or not a case in regard to any contention he wants to raise, the tenor of the letter filed and the tenor of his arguments on the basis of the said letter are very much objectionable. He is himself a lawyer and not a layman. He is expected to behave with dignity and decorum in the Court befitting the dignity of the Court. Being a lawyer, he must know that nobody can ask for an apology from a Court for an act done in exercise of judicial power vested in such Court. If he has any grievance, it is only by way of appeal or revision or review he can seek for redressal and not by filing such type of letters seeking for an apology from the Court. His conduct under any circumstances cannot be justified. It is not befitting an Advocate who has such a longstanding. Though the conduct of seeking for an apology from the Court not only in the letter filed, but also in the open Court, certainly comes within the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act. Taking into consideration that he is lawyer of longstanding and that on account of his grievance against the petitioner, might have committed such an error and with a feeling that he will not repeat the said conduct again and he will restrain himself from making such statements in public Courts, I prefer not to initiate any action against him for the present.”

But the hope of the said court that the respondent would mend himself proved to be incorrect. Just within three months of the same, there was another episode in a Criminal Case (bail petition). The case came up before G. Radhakrishna Rao, J. (as he then was) of this Court and the learned Judge had to face the same situation. The same is also extracted :

“This Court directed that the cases of Shri Anjaiah should not be posted here. He is conscious of that fact. That direction was given when he created so much havoc in the vacation Court. He was aware of it. Yet, he has come to the Court and created nuisance which is bad. An Advocate has no right to create a nuisance in the Court. As a matter of principle, this Court is not granting lunch motions in matters of ancitipatory bails as it is causing inconvenience to the Public Prosecutor to get instructions. Shri Anjaiah argued that it is a statutory right. No statute has fixed that the High Court has to grant lunch motions. It is only the discretion of the Court. Since Shri Anjaiah is creating nuisance and cast aspersions on the Court, he is directed to move the Court of Justice Panduranga Rao.”

Latest of the three is the order passed by a Division Bench of this Court presided by Justice M. N. Rao in W.P. No. 12962 of 1994. By order dated 18-7-1994, M. N. Rao J. speaking for the Bench and while admitting the case and issuing notice to the Advocate-General and calling the case on 21-7-1994, was forced to say that the case of the respondent shall not be posted before any Bench presided by M. N. Rao J. Extracting the order may be relevant :

“Although the writ petition is admitted and directed to be posted on 21st July, 1994 to facilitate the other side to obtain instructions and file counter, the learned counsel for unduly insisting upon that the matter should be taken up tomorrow itself. Despite our telling the learned counsel repeatedly that we must give at least three days time to the other side to obtain instructions and file counter-affidavit, he is insisting upon his ‘right’ about the matter being taken up tomorrow itself. In view of this unreasonable attitude of the learned counsel, one of us, M. N. Rao, J. is not inclined to hear any further any case in which he is appearing. The Registry is directed not to post his cases before M. N. Rao J., whether he sits singly or in a Division Bench.”

21. The above events indisputably prove that the respondent is habitutated to this kind of unruly behaviour in the Courts and acts defiantly. The freedom of speech has been regarded as a necessary condition for a democratic polity. Regulation is contrasted with abridgment or restriction and that is clear because regulation does not control the content of thought, but incidentally regulates it. Freedom has never been antithetical to regulation. A citizen or advocate has authority to petition the Court and also to argue, but the manner of presentation is determined not by his own choice, but by a carefully prescribed regulation. The conduct of the respondent enhances and not reduces the guilt of contempt.

22. Not only the respondent has committed contempt on 27-2-1996 in the first Court hall as mentioned above, but, he has aggravated the same by resiling from the stand that he had expressed regrets and disputing the statement of fact as presented by the Court and continuing his contumacious acts joining with a mob of Advocates and others and indulging in slogan shouting and other unruly acts, and again next day in the first court hall while appearing pursuant to the show cause notice in the contempt case, behaving very unruly and defiantly and even going to the extent of preventing the other counsel from entering the Court hall to plead their cases. He obviously became the cause for the boycott call given by the Advocates by passing resolution on 27th and 28th of February, 1996 which boycott calls also are contemptible as they tended to interfere with the administration of justice. He did not express any repentence, but reiterated his stand that he was correct and the court was wrong and even casting aspersions against the Court in the affidavits filed by him and making scurrilous remarks. He challenges the authority of law and his outrageous conduct that he has thrown a challenge at the Court when he was told why he was misconducting himself in the Courts, even incurring the wrath of the three learned Judges, who expressed not to post his cases thereafter before them, saying that the three Judges of the High Court have humiliated him in the past under the cover of immunity being enjoyed by them and escaped giving their accountability to the people, that he wanted to give a written matter demanding enquiry into the three cases and to punish him if he was found guilty and that what action he would take if three Judges were found guilty for humiliating him and failed to discharge their duties as expected by them, should be deprecated. The respondent stated that in his life time, he never showed any disrespect to the Court and that he had been upholding the majesty of the judiciary and administration of justice. He says that truth is his armour, while justice is his sword, and he had been taming the party in power by tireless tirade to uphold the democracy by educating the people. The aspersions cast by him against the Chief Justice and other Judge are :

“The respondent removed his coat and gown and gave to his Advocate son Mr. G. M. Ravi Kumar and started dictating a statement to him to be sent to the Press stating that the Hon’ble Chief Justice of the High Court of A.P. passed an unprecedented order in the history of judiciary that an Advocate was ordered to be arrested inside the four walls of the Court room and permitting the policemen in uniform to enter into the Court room to arrest the respondent without following the due procedure of law. The respondent strongly feels that the Hon’ble Chief Justice by ordering his arrest, who is the counsel for the appellants in W.A.S.R. No. 17949/96 in the four walls of the Court room and allowing the policemen to enter into the Court room would amount to defiling the sanctity and sacred precincts of the abode of justice. In the entire history of judiciary all over the world, it was for the first time that the Hon’ble the Chief Justice of the High Court of A.P. ordered the arrest of the respondent (Advocate) while he was arguing the case of his clients within the four walls of the Court. It is submitted that the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 cannot be made applicable to an Advocate (that is, the respondent herein) and order the arrest of an Advocate while he was discharging his duties towards his clients by arguing a case within the four walls of the Court room on the ground that the Advocate addressed the Court by raising his voice ….. The respondent got agitated so much when Mr. Kannabiran told him that the Hon’ble Chief Justice told that the respondent tendered an apology. The respondent immediately started rushing to the door of the Hon’ble Chief Justice to prostrate at the door of Hon’ble Chief Justice to demand whether the respondent tendered apology to the Hon’ble Chief Justice. Mr. Kannabiran and Advocates stopped the respondent from proceeding towards the door of the Hon’ble Chief Justice …. It is monumental false-hood that the respondent has been making improper statements in the Court …. The petitioner (meaning the Chief Justice) as an after thought decided to proceed against the respondent falsely alleging that the behaviour of the respondent in the Court constituted contempt of Court only when A.P. Bar Association passed a resolution for boycotting the Court of the Hon’ble the Chief Justice of High Court of A.P. …. The Hon’ble Chief Justice is distorting the facts and assassinating the character of the respondent for creating an impression that the respondent tendered apology in the chambers of the Hon’ble the Chief Justice and that he (the respondent) was misleading the Advocates after getting their support.”

This is the height of the falsehood as the contempt proceedings were initiated in facie curiae even according to the respondent and the respondent by the above statement really contradicts himself with unfounded imputations, having no regard for truth. Even according to the respondent, none of his cases were listed before the Chief Justice’s (Sri P. S. Mishra’s) Court before 23-2-1996 and the said case was his first case before the said Court and that for the first time he has argued before the Chief Justice on 27-2-1996. If that be so, it is ununderstandable as to why the Chief Justice should have any vindictive attitude against the respondent as it is evident even from the statement of the respondent that the Chief Justice did not know him to form any impression before the incident about on 27-2-1996 and even according to the respondent, the latter had presented the books to the Chief Justice authored by Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia and that he had also addressed a letter eulogising the Chief Justice to the hilt. Though much can be said about the conduct of the respondent in presenting the books and also presenting the letter, as they were not made part of the contempt charge, they are the questions apart, but there also it was unnecessary for the respondent to make false statements, that he did not present the books personally, but sent through somebody else and that the letter was not given to the Chief Justice on 27-2-1996 in the morning hours, but it was given to his P.A. a day before. By this, the respondent shows that he is the only person, who has got respect for the truth and rest in the entire world are untrue and that he is the only champion of the cause of justice and all other want to destroy the same. He thinks that he is the only blemishless person and rest in the world are blameworthy. He wants us to believe that not only the Chief Justice, but all the learned Judges of the High Court are untrue and were speaking falsehood. When he was tendered apology, apart from the Chief Justice, the other Administrative Committee Judges named above except Justice M. N. Rao were present and the respondent still contests that he did not tender apology which fact is a blatant lie. Immediately after the respondent left and when M/s. V. Venkataramaiah, K. G. Kannabiran and T. Bali Reddy came into the chambers of the Chief Justice and when most of the Judges were present excepting a very few, what transpired in the Court and the chambers was narrated including the tendering of apology by the respondent. There is not even an iota of truth in what the respondent says and we hold unhesitatingly that the respondent not only committed contempt, but aggravated the same by all his subsequent acts mentioned above. We do not know how the respondent claim that the Judges should be accountable either to the Advocates or anybodyelse as we, the Judges of the High Court, having been appointed under Art. 217 of the Constitution of India, are accountable only as the Constitution warrants and not otherwise. The contempt committed by the respondent in the face of the Court not only on 27-2-1996 in the Court hall, but also outside the chambers of the Chief Justice, even after tendering apology, but resiling from the same and in being a cause for boycott and also unruly behaviour in the Court while appearing in the contempt proceedings further aggravated by insinuations unfounded against the Court, having been established beyond doubt, we now consider how to deal with him. It is true that in Re : S. Mulgaokar AIR 1978 SC 727 Justice Krishna lyer speaking for the Supreme Court said that Judges should not be hypersensitive even where distortions and criticisms overstep the limits, but to deflate vulgar denunciations by dignified bearing condescending indifference and repudiation by judicial rectitude. But, sharply reacting to the same, Justice Chinnappa Reddy speaking for the Supreme Court in Asharam M. Jain Vs. A.T. Gupta and Others, dealing with the allegations made by the contemner against the Chief Justice observed “there is never any risk of judicial hypersensitivity. The very nature of the judicial function makes Judges sympathetic and responsive. Their very training blesses them with ‘insensitivity’, as opposed to hypersensitivity. Judges are always seeking good reasons to explain wrong conduct. They know there are always two sides to a coin. They neither give nor take offence because they deal with persons and situations impersonally, though with understanding, Judges more than others realise the foibles, the frustrations, the undercurrents and the tensions of litigants and litigation. But, as elsewhere, lines have to be drawn. The Strains and mortification of litigation cannot be allowed to lead litigants to tarnish, terrorise and destroy the system of administration of justice by vilification of judges. It is not that Judges need be protected; Judges may well take care of themselves. It is the right and interest of public in the due administration of justice that has to be protected”. Even Justice Krishna lyer, having said that Judges should not be hypersensitive in Re : S. Mulgaokar’s case (supra) had reconciled and held “after evaluating the totality of factors, if the Court considers the attack on the Judge or Judges scurrilous, offensive, intimidatory or malicious beyond condonable limits, the strong arm of the law must, in the name of public interest and public justice, strike a blow on him, who challenges the supremacy of the rule of law by fouling its source and stream”. Frankfurter, J. in Offut v. U.S. (1954) 348 US 11 held that the law should not be seen to sit limply, while those who defy it go free and those who seek its protection lose hope. This was quoted with approval by Justice Chinnappa Reddy, speaking for the Supreme Court in Advocate-general, State of Bihar Vs. Madhya Pradesh Khair Industries and Another, . The Supreme Court in the said case held “the public have an interest, an abiding and a real interest, and a vital stake in the effective and orderly administration of justice, because, unless justice is so administered, there is the peril of all rights and liberties perishing”. The Supreme Court also approved “It is a mode of vindicating the majesty of law, in its active manifestation against obstruction and outrage”. In T. N. Seshan v. Union of India. 1995 (4) SCC 611 Justice A. M. Ahmadi, Chief Justice of India, speaking for the Supreme Court, held that nobody can be above the institution which he is supposed to serve, that he is merely the creature of the institution, he can exist only if the institution exists and to project the individual as mightier than the institution would be a grave mistake. In Chandra Shashi Vs. Anil Kumar Verma, Justice B. L. Hansaria speaking for the Supreme Court held “the stream of administration of justice has to remain unpolluted so that purity of Court’s atmosphere may give vitality to all the organs of the State. Polluters of judicial firmament are, therefore, required to be well taken care of to maintain the sublimity of Court’s environment; so also to enable it to administer justice fairly and to the satisfaction of all concerned.” Justice K. Ramaswamy speaking for the Supreme Court in C. Ravichandran Iyer Vs. Justice A.M. Bhattacharjee and Others, held that the Judges of higher echelons should be men of fighting faith and though fibre not susceptible for any pressure, economic, political or of any sort. The actual as well as the apparent independence of judiciary would be transparent only when the office-holders endow those qualities which would operate as impregnable fortress against surreptitious attempts to undermine the independence of judiciary.

23. In view of what is stated supra, we hold that the respondent had committed contempt in the face of the Court on 27-2-1996 in the first court-hall and also outside the chambers of the Chief Justice and also in further escalating the same in the first court-hall while appearing in the contempt proceedings on 28-2-1996 and on further hearing dates, by not showing repentance, but defending his actions. Justice should be tempered with mercy. Even after this episode, can we hope that the respondent would mend himself and behave properly and orderly conforming to the standards of legal profession and will not indulge or repeat his contemptuous acts. Undue mercy or sympathy will be harmful to the cause of justice. We record for the said reason that respondent, Sri G. M. Anjaiah is guilty of contempt of court for all the above acts and accordingly fit to be punished by imprisonment for at least a period of six months. We, however, postponed the implementation of the same for a period of one year in the hope that in the meanwhile he shall improve his conduct in courts. He may apply for the remission of sentence after the expiry of the said period of one year and the court may consider the same if there is no report against him of any contemptuous behaviour.

24. We have to say sternly about the attitude of the Bar Association in passing resolutions to boycott the first Court on 28-2-1996 and all the courts for the next two days thereby interfering with the course of justice. Even the lawyers, who were ready to argue their cases, were prevented from doing so. The said action is deprecated, as boycott of the courts is not one to be resorted to by the lawyers. Previously, there were boycotts when the police and executives committed attrocities on lawyers, to set-up the High Court Bench in coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh and for withdrawal of Nyaya Panchayat Bill etc. It is ununderstandable as to how the boycott will solve such problems. While the lawyers are enrolled for pleading the causes of their clients in quest rule of law which is the destination of our Constitutional scheme, the boycott striking the work, strikes at the root of rule of law; thus, paralysing the entire administration of justice. Any action by lawyers should be in aid of Constitution and should be progressive and not retrograde. If police and executives commit attrocities, the lawyers should take up the cause and fight it out in the courts of law to render justice to the victims, be it lawyers or other citizens. If the High Court Bench is necessary, they have to take the steps and pursue with the Constitutional functionaries by entering into a dialogue and by demonstrating necessity for the same, but not for the sake of lawyers, but to espouse the cause of the clients, if such circumstances exist for the purpose of constitutional considerations. If the powers are taken away from the common law courts and are sought to be entrusted on some Sarpanches and mediators under Nyaya Panchayat Bill, which of course is now withdrawn, the cause did not lay in boycotting the courts’ work, but to fight it out on Constitutional grounds and in Constitutional Courts in addition to such representations or dialogue with the political executives. Even if a lawyer or the Bar Association feels that a Judge has misconduct himself, the boycott cannot be resorted to. Only such remedies as are provided under law can only be pursued and certainly boycott is not one of such methods. Justice P. B. Sawant speaking for the Supreme Court in Re : Sanjiv Datta’s case (supra) held “our legal system, in fact, acknowledges the fallibility of the courts and provides for both internal and external checks to correct the errors. The law, the jurisprudence and precedente, the open hearings, reasoned judgment, appeals, revisions, references and review constitute the internal checks while objective critiques, debates and discussions of judgments outside the courts and the legislative correctives provide the external check. Together, they go a long way to ensure judicial accountability. The law, thus, provides procedure to correct judicial errors. Abuses, attribution of motives, vituperative terrorism and defiance are no methods to correct the errors of the Courts. In the discharge of their functions, the Courts have to be allowed to operate freely and fearlessly but for which impartial adjudication will be an impossibility. Ours is Constitutional government based on the rule of law. The constitution entrusts the task of interpreting and administering the law to judiciary whose view on the subject is made legally final and binding on all till it is changed by a higher court or by a permissible legislative measures. The court’s verdict must be respected not necessarily by the authority of its reason, but always by reason of its authority. The legal profession is a solemn and serious occupation. It is a noble calling and all those who belong to it are all its honourable members. Although entry to the profession may be held by acquiring a mere qualification on technical competence, the honour as a professional has to be maintained by its members by their exemplary conduct, both in and outside the court. The legal profession is different from other professions, in that, what the lawyers do affect not only an individual, but the administration of justice, which is the foundation of the civilised society. Both, as a leading member of the intelligentsia of the society and as a responsible citizen, the lawyers has to conduct himself as a model for others, both in his professional and in his private and public life. The society has a right to expect of him such ideal behaviour. If the profession is to survive, the judicial system has to be vitalised. No service will be too small in making the system efficient, effective and credible.”

25. Justice K. Ramaswamy speaking for the Supreme Court in U.P. Sales Tax Service Association v. Taxation Bar Association Agra 1995 (2) MLW 713 while holding that an Advocate is an Officer of the Court and enjoys a special stauts in the society, deprecated the boycotting of the courts stating that it has been a frequent spectacle in the recent past to witness that Advocates strike work and boycott the courts at the slightest provocation overlooking the harm caused to the judicial system in general and the litigant public, in particular and to themselves in the estimate of the general public.

26. In Madras Sugars Limited v. The State of Tamil Nadu 1995 (2) MLW 932 , the Division Bench of Madras High Court came down heavily on the conduct of the Advocates in boycotting the courts and striking the work. The ruling of the Madras High Court is based on the judicial precedents of the Supreme Court in Bar Council of Maharashtra Vs. M.V. Dabholkar and Others, , Pandurang Dattatraya Khandekar Vs. Bar Council of Maharashtra, Bombay and Others, , Lt. Col. S.J. Chaudhary Vs. State (Delhi Administration), , Salil Dutta Vs. T.M. and M.C. Private Ltd., , J.S. Jadhav Vs. Mustafa Haji Mohamed Yusuf and others, , State of U.P. and others Vs. U.P. State Law Officers Association and others, , and Common Cause v. Union of India 1995 (1) MLW 8. The same was followed by the another Division Bench of Madras High Court in a contempt case against an Advocate in Bar Association, Dharmapuri v. P. Shanmugam, (supra) deprecating the conduct of the Advocates in boycotting the courts; thus, observing “we hope that the members of the noble profession will realise their responsibility and in particular, their paramount duty to their respective clients, and will not hereafter abstain from attending courts and doing their duty.”

27. We part with this case hoping in the same manner as did by the Madras High Court.

28. Accordingly, the Contempt Cases are disposed of.

29. Order accordingly.


Citation : (1996) 2 ALT 693 : (1996) 2 AndhLD 765 : (1996) 1 AndhLD(Criminal) 605 : (1996) CriLJ 2755 : (1996) 3 RCR(Criminal) 529

Case referred :

State of U.P. and others Vs. U.P. State Law Officers Association and others, AIR 1994 SC 1654 : (1994) 68 FLR 894 : (1994) 1 JT 225 : (1994) 1 SCALE 254 : (1994) 2 SCC 204 : (1994) 1 SCR 348 : (1994) 1 SLJ 230 : (1994) 1 UJ 412
C. Ravichandran Iyer Vs. Justice A.M. Bhattacharjee and Others, (1995) 6 JT 339 : (1995) 5 SCALE 142 : (1995) 5 SCC 457 : (1995) 3 SCR 319 Supp
Asharam M. Jain Vs. A.T. Gupta and Others, AIR 1983 SC 1151 : (1983) CriLJ 1499 : (1984) 1 Crimes 143 : (1983) 2 SCALE 138 : (1983) 4 SCC 125 : (1983) 3 SCR 719
Chandra Shashi Vs. Anil Kumar Verma, (1994) ECR 636 : (1995) 78 ELT 7 : (1994) 7 JT 459 : (1994) 4 SCALE 944 : (1995) 1 SCC 421 : (1994) 5 SCR 465 Supp : (1995) 1 UJ 242
Pandurang Dattatraya Khandekar Vs. Bar Council of Maharashtra, Bombay and Others, AIR 1984 SC 110 : (1984) 16 UJ 88
Mohd. Zahir Khan Vs. Vijai Singh and others, AIR 1992 SC 642 : (1992) CriLJ 610 : (1992) 2 SCC 72 Supp
K.A. Mohammed Ali Vs. C.N. Prasannan, AIR 1995 SC 454 : (1994) 3 Crimes 618 : (1994) 55 ECR 209 : (1994) 6 JT 584 : (1994) 4 SCALE 444 : (1994) 3 SCC 509 Supp : (1994) 4 SCR 191 Supp : (1995) 1 UJ 8
Lt. Col. S.J. Chaudhary Vs. State (Delhi Administration), AIR 1984 SC 618 : (1984) CriLJ 340 : (1984) 1 SCALE 92 : (1984) 1 SCC 722 : (1984) 2 SCR 438
Bar Council of Maharashtra Vs. M.V. Dabholkar and Others, AIR 1975 SC 2092 : (1975) 2 SCC 702 : (1976) 1 SCR 306
L.D. Jaikwal Vs. State of U.P., AIR 1984 SC 1374 : (1984) CriLJ 993 : (1984) 1 SCALE 862 : (1984) 3 SCC 405 : (1984) 3 SCR 833 : (1984) 16 UJ 942
Jaswant Singh Vs. Virender Singh and others, AIR 1995 SC 520 : (1991) LabIC 258 : (1994) 4 SCALE 872 : (1995) 1 SCC 384 Supp : (1995) 1 SCC 384 : (1994) 5 SCR 336 Supp
Pritam Pal Vs. High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur through Registrar, AIR 1992 SC 904 : (1992) CriLJ 1269 : (1992) 1 Crimes 1012 : (1992) 2 JT 41 : (1992) 1 SCALE 416 : (1993) 1 SCC 529 Supp : (1992) 1 SCR 864
In re: Vinay Chandra Mishra (the alleged contemner), AIR 1995 SC 2348 : (1995) CriLJ 3994 : (1995) 2 JT 587 : (1995) 6 SCALE 619 : (1995) 3 SCALE 1 : (1995) 2 SCALE 201 : (1995) 2 SCALE 200 : (1995) 2 SCC 584 : (1995) 2 SCR 638 : (1995) 2 UJ 93
Salil Dutta Vs. T.M. and M.C. Private Ltd., (1993) 4 JT 528 : (1993) 104 PLR 659 : (1993) 1 SCALE 451 : (1993) 2 SCC 185 : (1993) 1 SCR 794
J.S. Jadhav Vs. Mustafa Haji Mohamed Yusuf and others, AIR 1993 SC 1535 : (1993) 2 JT 652 : (1993) 2 LLJ 1225 : (1993) 2 SCALE 429 : (1993) 2 SCC 562 : (1993) 2 SCR 1006
Advocate-general, State of Bihar Vs. Madhya Pradesh Khair Industries and Another, AIR 1980 SC 946 : (1980) CriLJ 684 : (1980) 3 SCC 311 : (1980) SCC(Cri) 688 : (1980) 2 SCR 1172 : (1980) 12 UJ 474
In Re: Sanjiv Datta and Others, (1995) CriLJ 2910 : (1995) 3 JT 538 : (1995) 2 SCALE 704 : (1995) 3 SCC 619 : (1995) 3 SCR 450 : (1995) 2 UJ 786

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