A local court in Tamil Nadu's Thoothukudi district recently imposed a fine of Rs. 200/- on an Advocate, for using filthy language during hearing of a bail application via video-conferencing.
As per the Principal District & Sessions Judge, Thoothukudi and the court staff, Advocate Samwell Rajendran suddenly uttered certain offensive words in the local language, while the court was hearing the bail applications.
Taking exception to this, the Judge initiated legal proceedings against the Advocate, under Section 228 of IPC (intentional insult or interruption to public servant sitting in judicial proceeding) r/w Section 345 of CrPC (procedure in certain cases of contempt).
When a show cause notice was issued to Advocate Samwell, he claimed that the utterance was not directed towards the court but was meant for someone else. He also claimed that he had forgotten that the court is functioning via video conferencing, else he would not have used such remarks.
The court was further informed that Samwell was a practicing Advocate at the court since past 30 years and had also served as a Government Pleader.
However, dissatisfied with the explanation set forth by the Advocate, the court proceeded to impose a fine of Rs.200/-, failing which the Advocate shall be liable to undergo simple imprisonment for 1 month.
The court said that the words uttered by Advocate Samwell amounted to "intentional insult" of the court during Judicial proceedings. It observed that even an uneducated villager would not use such offensive and intimidating language in a public place or before a court of law.
On the face of the utterance of filthy language used by the Contemnor, the District Judge said,
"this court is of the view an Advocate with 30 years of experience in the Judicial Proceedings would never utter such insulting words. Hence from the above mentioned facts and circumstances of the case, this court finds that the accused has insulted the Principal District Judge sitting in the Judicial Proceedings during working hours and committed an offence under section 228 of Indian Penal Code."
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