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"Pending Contempt References Against Advocates Demoralize Judicial Officers": Allahabad High Court Bats For Their Expeditious Disposal

Sparsh Upadhyay
23 Dec 2021 9:21 AM GMT
Pending Contempt References Against Advocates Demoralize Judicial Officers: Allahabad High Court Bats For Their Expeditious Disposal
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"Pending (Contempt) references (against Advocates) tend to demoralize the Judicial Officers, who are supposed to work fearlessly, and the erring lawyers continue to indulge in their notorious activities including misbehavior with the Judges working at the district level," the Allahabad High Court on Monday observed as it called for expeditious disposal of such references.The Bench of...

"Pending (Contempt) references (against Advocates) tend to demoralize the Judicial Officers, who are supposed to work fearlessly, and the erring lawyers continue to indulge in their notorious activities including misbehavior with the Judges working at the district level," the Allahabad High Court on Monday observed as it called for expeditious disposal of such references.

The Bench of Justice Shamim Ahmed and Justice Rakesh Srivastava observed thus while dealing with a case related to the violent behavior of the lawyers outside the Lucknow District Court campus that took place on October 30.

On Monday, in pursuance of the Court's earlier direction, the Court was informed by District Judge, Lucknow, Ram Manohar Narayan Mishra that around 50 cases are pending trial against the advocates in Lucknow Judgeship out of which 36 cases are pending before the Magistrate and 14 cases are before the Sessions Judge.

However, Mr. D.K. Thakur, the Commissioner of Police, Lucknow in his report said that in 74 cases the charge sheets have been submitted. To this, the Court directed the District Judge to co-ordinate with the local police officers and give the status of all the 74 cases in a detailed chart. The Court has now called for the report on NDOH on January 10, 2022.

Further, when the Court enquired about the FIR lodged by the then Chief Judicial Magistrate, Smt Sandhya Srivastava, against an advocate for his misconduct/misbehavior against her in the year 2017, the Court was told that the case is fixed for appearance of accused persons.

To this, the Court found it surprising that the charge-sheet having been filed in 2017, even the presence of accused persons could not be ensured and the charges could not be framed.

Against this backdrop, stressing that cases involving advocates should be tried expeditiously so that innocent do not suffer and the guilty are not spared, the Court observed thus:

"We are not satisfied with the tardy progress of the criminal trial, especially when the Courts' working is involved. We would like the District Judge to impress upon the Magistrate to ensure the appearance of the accused persons and expedite the framing of charges so that the trial could begin immediately."

Noting that a contempt reference was forwarded to the High Court but no progress had been made in the said case to date, the Court called it a very serious matter and directed the Registrar General to place the matter before the Chief Justice.

Further, the Registrar General has also been directed to place all the references made under the Contempt of Courts Act, which have not been placed before the court for action thereon.

"As pending references tend to demoralize the Judicial Officers, who are supposed to work fearlessly, and the erring lawyers continue to indulge in their notorious activities including misbehavior with the Judges working at the district level. Expeditious disposal of admitted references is the demand of justice and any delay in taking cognizance thereon may tend to obstruct the course of justice," the Court further added.

Lastly, the Court also issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh State Bar Council and Bar Council of India, and the counsel of the Uttar Pradesh Bar Council was directed to inform as to what disciplinary action has been taken against the advocates, who have been found guilty of misconduct.

The Court has also enquired about the number of advocates against whom action has been taken within the last five years as also the districts to which they belong. The report has been sought by the next date i.e., January 10, 2022.

Case title - Piyush Shrivastava (In Person) & Ors. v. State Of U.P. Thru. Prin. Secy. Home Lko. & Ors.

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