Top
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

Madras High Court Initiates Criminal Contempt Against Advocate For Sharing 'Derogatory' WhatsApp Audio Messages Against Judge

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
18 Jun 2021 12:32 PM GMT
Madras High Court Initiates Criminal Contempt Against Advocate For Sharing Derogatory WhatsApp Audio Messages Against Judge
x
"This Court would not fall prey to such acts perpetrated by gossip mongers and unscrupulous elements, with a view to scuttle the judicial process and make the judiciary dance to their tunes."

The Madras High Court has initiated criminal contempt proceedings against an advocate for sharing 'derogatory' audio messages against a judge.Justice M Dhandapani, after taking note of the audio messages created by the lawyer against him, directed the initiation of suo moto contempt proceedings.The development happened while the bench of Justice Dhandapani was hearing bail applications filed by...

Your free access to Live Law has expired
To read the article, get a premium account.
    Your Subscription Supports Independent Journalism
Subscription starts from
599+GST
(For 6 Months)
Premium account gives you:
  • Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.
  • Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.
Already a subscriber?

The Madras High Court has initiated criminal contempt proceedings against an advocate for sharing 'derogatory' audio messages against a judge.

Justice M Dhandapani, after taking note of the audio messages created by the lawyer against him, directed the initiation of suo moto contempt proceedings.

The development happened while the bench of Justice Dhandapani was hearing bail applications filed by a lawyer and her daughter in a case registered over lockdown violations. The bail applicants had allegedly misbehaved with the police officials who had stopped their vehicle, and had threatened them. While considering the bail plea, the bench of Justice Dhandapani had earlier added the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry as a respondent in the matter to decide the issue of evolving a mechanism to deal with lawyers who display unruly behaviour in public abusing the status of an advocate.

Another lawyer, one Krishnamoorthy, took objection to this action taken by Justice Dhandapani and shared audio messages in WhatsApp saying that the judge was acting contrary to the interests of advocates.

While deciding the bail applications, Justice Dhandapani took note of the audio messages, and observed as :


"The audio proceeds on the footing that I have taken a stand, which denigrates and defames the entirety of the advocates. In fact, the said person had gone on to say that the way I had conducted the Court was unbecoming of a Judge and that I have not given opportunity to put forth the submissions by the parties. In fact, when the matter was placed before me, in view of the gravity of the act alleged by the prosecution against the petitioners herein, most especially in the trying times, I had impleaded the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu to spell out the mechanism devised by them in consonance with the various decisions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India for taking action against such of those advocates, who conduct themselves in an unruly fashion, thereby, denigrating and defaming the legal profession... The act of the advocate is very much contumacious and attracts initiation of criminal contempt proceedings. The whole audio paints a very gloomy picture and without any material aspersions are attributed against me. Neither have I passed any orders on the merits of the case, nor have I in any way defamed the advocates or the legal profession, yet, the advocate has gone on to state that I had not heard the arguments of the counsel and that I was in a predetermined mindset to decide the matter, which is nothing by imputing aspersions against me, though the said advocate was neither the counsel on record for the petitioner nor in any way connected with the said case."

The Judge added that if such acts are left unnoticed, they will send a wrong signal.

"This Court would not fall prey to such acts perpetrated by gossip mongers and unscrupulous elements, with a view to scuttle the judicial process and make the judiciary dance to their tunes."

The Court said that the lawyer had attributed malafides to the Judge in the audio message and opined that he should recuse from hearing the case. The audio purportedly also claims that the Judge has taken a lopsided view of the case and that the Judge was biased in the matter.

The Court said that the acts of the advocate fell within the scope of "criminal contempt" under Section 2(c) of the Contempt of Courts Act

"In the above stated scenario, if this Court fails to take any action against the said individual, Mr. R.Krishnamoorthy, it would have a cascading effect of eroding the faith that the general public have on the justice delivery system and also push the judicial system into doldrums. In such a backdrop, this Court is of the opinion that this is a fit case where this Court has to initiate criminal contempt as provided u/s 14 of the Contempt of Courts Act", the Court observed.

The Registry was directed to issue notice regarding initiation of Suo Motu Criminal Contempt proceedings against the said Mr.R.Krishnamoorthy as provided for u/s 14 of the Contempt of Courts Act and,thereafter, place the matter before the Chief Justice for being listed before the appropriate Bench for hearing

Click here to read/download the order






Next Story
Share it