Contempt of Court; In Re Vs. Pradhuman Kumar Srivastava [Allahabad High Court, 21-09-2016]

Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 – Contemnors – Evidence of – In contempt proceedings, provisions of IPC and Evidence Act, as such, are not applicable but even if applicable, scientific and electronic evidence is admissible in the light of Section 65B of the Evidence Act.

Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 – Section 10 – Criminal Contempt Proceedings were initiated against 10 Advocates – Contemnors pressurized Informant-Presiding Officer to retire in Chamber.

Held:- The incident of forcible entry into Court room, disturbance in Court room, damage to Court property, abuse, assault and manhandling of Informant-Presiding Officer is well established. The presence and participation of Contemnors is also established. It is really a disturbing case where Officers of Court had created such an abhorrent scene in Court for some petty personal gains or otherwise. The above act and conduct constitute “Criminal Contempt” and charge stands well established against Contemnors. The Court hold them guilty of criminal contempt.

Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 – Contemnors though have made statement of apology also in their affidavits, but, it is not only conditional but an attempt to avoid any sentence, in case case they are held guilty. It does not appear to be a bona fide repentance on their part showing an attitude of feeling guilty and forwarding an assurance that they are, by heart, intends to purge, assuring not to repeat the same in future. It is not a technical regret /apology, which a contemnor is expected to offer to Court. It is not a weapon of defence to purge guilty of the wrong, one has committed. It is not intended to operate as an universal panacea, but it is intended to be evidence of real contriteness.

Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 – On one hand, Contemnors appears to have tendered apology but simultaneously have made serious aspersions against Informant-Presiding Officer and Court, and, have pleaded all defence for their deeds. The apology, therefore, being shallow, artificial and lacking bona fide, cannot be accepted.

Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 – Role of individual Contemnors is not to be seen for the reason that in collusion with common intention, they have caused incident by forcibly entering Court room, disturbing Court proceedings, damaging Court property, abusing and assaulting Judicial Officer. Since all the Contemnors have participated with a common intention, factum that any individual has actually abused or assaulted Informant-Presiding Officer or not, is not material, but every Contemnor is equally responsible and guilty of committing criminal contempt of Court and responsibility of all Contemnors is equal.

Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 – Punishment – Six months simple imprisonment upon Contemnors 1, 3, 4, 7, 8 9 and 10 and fine of Rs.2,000/- – In order to ensure smooth functioning of Court, the Contemnors 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10 shall not enter Court premises of Jalaun at Orai for a period of one year, which shall commence from 23rd September, 2016. Further, conduct and attitude of Contemnors after expiry of aforesaid period, if they start practice of Law in Judgeship Jalaun at Orai, shall under constant watch of District Judge, Jalaun at Orai for a period of three years and if he finds any untoward activity on the part of Contemnors, he shall report to this Court forthwith. So far as Contemnors 2, 5 and 6 are concerned, they are held not guilty and contempt proceedings initiated against them are dropped and they are discharged.

Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 – Section 19 – Remedy of appeal under – suspended the order of punishment of sentence of simple imprisonment for a period of two months to enable them to file appeal if so advised. In case no appeal is filed, and, if filed, and no otherwise order is passed by Appellate Court, the aforesaid Contemnors shall surrender themselves after expiry of the period of two months i.e. on 23.11.2016 before Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jalaun at Orai, who shall take appropriate steps for getting Contemnors serve sentence of imprisonment imposed upon them under this order. So far as amount of fine is concerned, Contemnors may pay the same either in this Court or with District Judge, Jalaun at Orai or with Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jalaun at Orai within three months.

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD

Hon’ble Sudhir Agarwal,J. & Hon’ble Shashi Kant,J.

Delivered on 21.09.2016

CONTEMPT APPLICATION (CRIMINAL) No. – 17 of 2015

Applicant :- In Re

Opposite Party :- Pradhuman Kumar Srivastava, Advocate and 9 Ors.

Counsel for Applicant :- A.G.A.,Sudhir Mehrotra; Counsel for Opposite Party :- Dharam Pal Singh, Sr. Advocate, S.C. Dwivedi,A.K. Srivastava,Avanish Mishra,B.N. Singh,S. Niranjan,Suresh Gupta,U.K. Saxena

(Delivered by Hon’ble Sudhir Agarwal, J.)

1. Criminal contempt proceedings were initiated against 10 Contemnors namely :Pradhuman Kumar Srivastava, Advocate (Contemnor no.1); Arvind Kumar Gautam, Advocate (Contemnor no.2); Gyanendra Singh Rajawat, Advocate (Contemnor no.3); Suresh Dixit, Advocate (Contemnor no.4); Raghunath Das Bishnoi, Advocate (Contemnor no.5); Yusuf Ishtiyaq, Advocate (Contemnor no.6); Karmksheta Awasthi, Advocate (Contemnor no.7); Aftab Ahmad, Advocate (Contemnor no.8); Udai Shankar Dwivedi, Advocate (Contemnor no.9); and, Pankaj Gupta, Advocate (Contemnor no.10), pursuant to an inquiry report of an incident took place on 20th November, 2014 in the afternoon, in District Judgeship Jalaun at Orai in the Court of Manoj Kumar Shukla, Additional District & Sessions Judge, Court No.3, Jalaun at Orai (hereinafter referred to as “Informant-Presiding Officer”).