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'No Person Can Be Permitted To Intimidate Or Terrorize Judges' : Karnataka High Court Issues Contempt Notice Over Threatening Letter

Mustafa Plumber
5 Feb 2021 9:44 AM GMT
No Person Can Be Permitted To Intimidate Or Terrorize Judges : Karnataka High Court Issues Contempt Notice Over Threatening Letter
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The Karnataka High Court on February 3 issued a notice under the contempt of courts Act, to a 72-year-old person, who wrote a letter to the High Court registry claiming that he has decided to kill two erring Judges amongst the "highly corrupt 28 Judges of this Court and the Apex Court along with two corrupt Advocates". A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Sachin...

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The Karnataka High Court on February 3 issued a notice under the contempt of courts Act, to a 72-year-old person, who wrote a letter to the High Court registry claiming that he has decided to kill two erring Judges amongst the "highly corrupt 28 Judges of this Court and the Apex Court along with two corrupt Advocates".

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum said:

"The allegations made in the said letter prima facie constitute a criminal contempt under clause (c) of Section 2 of the said Act."

The letter sent to the registry on January 29 made scandalous allegations against a Senior Judge, who was part of the Division Bench which passed an order on 6th November 2020, by alleging that the said Judge is acting under the influence of the retired Hon'ble Judges of the Supreme Court.

The bench initiated the suo-motu proceedings against SV Srinivasa Rao on the basis of order dated November 6, 2020 passed by a Division Bench. The court had in its order recorded that "No person can be permitted to intimidate or terrorize the Judges by making scandalous, unwarranted and baseless imputations."

The bench on going through the order and the allegations made by the accused in the pleadings filed by him before the court said:

"It appears that various objectionable allegations have been made by the respondent/accused in the pleadings. The respondent/accused has used very objectionable adjectives about the Judges of the Apex Court and this Court, which cannot be reproduced. The respondent/accused has not even spared the members of the Karnataka State Bar Council and the Bar Council of India while making sweeping and scandalous allegations."

The bench said that this was not the first occasion when the accused had made allegations against the judges.

It said:

"Our attention is invited to the order dated 6th August 2010 passed by a Division Bench of this Court. That was a judgment rendered in the contempt petition in which the present respondent/accused was the respondent/accused. This contempt petition was filed on the basis of the similar allegations. As the accused tendered his unconditional apology and assured the Court not to indulge in making such allegations, the Division Bench was persuaded to accept the apology and the proceedings were dropped."

Following which the court said, "The allegations made by the respondent/accused in the memo of personal appearance dated 4th September 2020, prima facie constitutes a criminal contempt within the meaning of clause (c) of Section 2 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 (for short 'the said Act')."

It added "On the face of it, the allegations tend to scandalize the Courts. Such allegations will definitely interfere with the due course of judicial proceedings. The allegations tend to obstruct the administration of justice. The members of the Bar are also integral part of the judicial system. By making such scandalous allegations against the members of the Bar, if they are deterred from appearing in the cases, it will amount to obstruction in the administration of justice."

The bench accordingly passed the following order :

"We are satisfied that a prima facie case has been made out to initiate action against the respondent/accused for committing criminal contempt of this Court. Hence, issue notice in Form-1 in accordance with Rule 8 of the High Court of Karnataka (Contempt of Court Proceedings) Rules, 1981. Even a copy of this order shall be forwarded along with the notice. The notice is made returnable on 1st March 2021.

The respondent/accused shall appear through video conferencing before the Court and his personal presence is not dispensed with."

It also directed the Registrar General to forward a copy of the letter dated 29th January 2021 to the Police Officer in charge of the security of the High Court as paragraph 5 of the said letter states that the respondent/accused has decided to kill two Judges and two Advocates.

Click Here To Download Order

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