SC rejects plea of lawyer sentenced to 2 weeks jail, debarment of practice

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a plea filed against the Madras High Court’s judgment which punished an advocate for contempt of court while sentencing him to two weeks imprisonment as well as debarring him from practising for a period of one year.

A vacation bench of Justices DY Chandracud and Bela M Trivedi termed the advocate’s conduct as “thoroughly contemptuous” and declined his appeal against the High Court’s order.

Hearing the case, the bench observed, “Ultimately you know, judges are assaulted. There is no protection of judges in the district judiciary, sometimes not even a lathi wielding policeman. This is happening across the country… You cannot level wanton allegations. I have seen what happens in other parts of the country and this is becoming a new part of fashion in making allegations against the judges. The stronger the judge, the worse the allegations. This is happening in Bombay, rampant in Uttar Pradesh and now even Madras.”

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The apex court was hearing an appeal against the High Court’s division bench order holding advocate PR Adikesavan guilty of contempt and sentencing him to two weeks imprisonment also debarring him from practising for a period of one year for obstructing the execution of a non-bailable warrant issued by it against him.

The single bench of the High Court had issued a non-bailable warrant against the advocate for his appearance before the Court in insolvency proceedings initiated u/s 9 to 13 of the Presidency Towns Insolvency Act, 1909. On March, 31 when a police inspector had sought to execute the warrants he was gheraoed not only by Adikesavan but by over fifty advocates who prevented the personnel from executing High Court’s orders.

Considering that Adikesavan was fully aware of the pendency of proceedings but deliberately did not appear before the High Court, the single bench took cognizance of the act of criminal contempt committed by the advocates.

When the division bench was considering the contempt case against Adikesavan, he made allegations against the single judge and filed applications seeking to issue summons to a single judge for examining her as a witness in this case and another, for recusal of one of the judges in the division bench from hearing the case.

The division bench then pronounced its verdict and sentenced Adikesavan to undergo two weeks of simple imprisonment and to not practice in the Madras High Court for a period of one year from the date of the order.

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