The Supreme Court has stayed contempt proceedings against Gujarat High Court Advocate Association President Yatin Narendra Oza by the Gujarat High Court. The contempt proceedings was initiated against him for circulating defamatory materials against a sitting Judge of the High court and for holding meetings of the association for discussing the scandalizing letter.
Apex Court Bench comprising of Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh, staying the contempt proceedings held as follows;
“Having heard learned counsel for the petitioner, we are, as advised at present, not inclined to vary or modify the order passed by the High Court and, accordingly, we direct that the said order shall remain in force till 12.05.2016. However, we direct that the contempt proceedings before the High Court shall remain in abeyance till 12.05.2016.”
The Gujarat High Court had observed “we are of the prima-facie opinion that ordinarily a communication addressed to Head of the Institution in the form of complaint or seeking redressal of grievances couched in a proper language with due objectivity cannot be said to be falling under the purview of Contempt of Courts Act but if the same is couched in an intemperate language and is being used to scandalize the Judge and Court, then, the same would surely not permissible and would amount to Contempt of Court. In the instant case, the averments made in this petition and communication dated 9.4.2016 and the factum of putting the said communication for voting of the members of Bar Association would prima facie constitute a case for issuance of notice under Contempt of Courts Act and we are also of the view that the contents of letters would persuade the Court for issuance of notice under Contempt of Courts Act.”
Restraining Yatin Oza and others involved from indulging in any scandalous activity or holding official meeting and passing resolution on the subject matter, the Gujarat High Court had also issued a contempt of court notice on them.
Read the order here.