The Supreme Court on Friday told a lawyer, who was sentenced to six months imprisonment after being held guilty of criminal contempt for making “scandalous, unwarranted and baseless imputations” against several sitting judges of the Delhi High Court and district courts in the national capital, to tender unconditional apology to the judges he had targeted.
The Delhi High Court had on January 9 held the lawyer guilty of contempt of court and sentenced him to six months in jail, besides imposing a fine of Rs 2,000. It had also directed that he be taken into custody and handed over to the Superintendent of Tihar Jail.
A bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud took up the petition filed by the lawyer after it was mentioned before it.
The bench, also comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, observed the high court noted in its verdict that it had given him an opportunity to apologise for the “contemptuous allegations” he made in a plea but he replied in the “negative and stated that he stands by whatever allegations he has made”.
The counsel representing the lawyer said the petitioner was ready and willing to tender an unconditional apology.
“Before we can consider the request of the petitioner, we direct that the petitioner, if he is so inclined, must file unconditional apology on affidavit before the judges of the high court and of the district judiciary against whom he had made the allegations,” the bench said.
“The police authorities shall arrange for the petitioner to be produced in person before each of the judges before whom an apology has to be filed…,” it said.
The bench posted the matter for hearing at 3 PM on January 16.
In its verdict, the high court had noted that since the lawyer who made the contumacious allegations was an officer of the court, it was necessary to check such actions with a “firm hand”. He had filed a plea before a single judge of the high court in July 2022 in which he accused several judges of acting arbitrarily, whimsically or in a biased manner. He had also named the judges in his petition.
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Supreme court,Contempt of court,delhi high court lawyer contempt of court