Judges are not fearful saints, but have to fearless preachers, said the Supreme Court while upholding the Allahabad High Court order convicting an Advocate for criminal contempt for misbehaving and assaulting a Chief Judicial Magistrate.
The bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Navin Sinha, however, suspended the sentence of imprisonment of 6 months awarded by the High Court to Advocate Rakesh Tripathi for further period of 3 years subject to his maintaining good and proper conduct with a condition that he shall not enter the premises of the District Judgeship, Allahabad for a further period of three years in addition to what he has undergone already.
Sentence of imprisonment may be activated by this Court in case it is found that there is breach of any condition made by the concerned advocate during the period of three years, the bench said. The court observed that though suspension of a lawyer is not permissible to be ordered but when he is convicted under the contempt of court, it is possible for the Supreme Court or the High Court to prevent the advocate to appear in the court.
The allegation against the lawyer in the contempt case was that he, on 21st December, 2012 during lunch hour without taking permission from C.J.M., Allahabad entered into his chamber along with 2-3 colleagues and at the said point of time he started hurling filthy abuses to the CJM and the matter did not end there, as he also raised his hand to beat the Chief Judicial Magistrate and also threatened him of dire consequences.
The Allahabad High Court convicted him for criminal contempt and sentenced him to simple imprisonment of six months and a fine of Rs.2000. He was also directed not to enter the premises of the District Judgeship, Allahabad for a period of six months.
In his appeal, the bench observed that his act is not only improper but requires gross condemnation. It also noted that the concerned advocate did not apologise and has maligned and scandalized the subordinate court. Justice Mishra, in the judgment authored by him, has made some observations regarding the duty of lawyers towards the court. The judgment reads:
No licence to any member of the Bar to indulge in such undignified conduct
"An advocate is duty bound to act as per the higher status conferred upon him as an officer of the court. He plays a vital role in preservation of society and justice delivery system. Advocate has no business to threaten a Judge or hurl abuses for judicial order which he has passed. In case of complaint of the Judge, it was open to the advocate to approach concerned higher authorities but there is no licence to any member of the Bar to indulge in such undignified conduct to lower down the dignity of the Court. Such attempts deserve to be nipped at the earliest as there is no room to such attack by a member of noble profession."
Advocates are held in high esteem in the society, the expectations from him are accordingly higher
The role of a lawyer is indispensable in the justice delivery system. He has to follow the professional ethics and also to maintain high standards. He has to assist the court and also defend the interest of his client. He has to give due regard to his opponent and also to his counsel. What may be proper to others in the society, may be improper for him to do as he belongs to an intellectual class of the society and as a member of the noble profession, the expectations from him are accordingly higher. Advocates are held in high esteem in the society. The dignity of court is in fact dignity of the system of which an advocate being officer of the court.
Judges are not fearful saints, they have to be fearless preachers
The judiciary is one of the main pillars of democracy and is essential to peaceful and orderly development of society. The Judge has to deliver justice in a fearless and impartial manner. He cannot be intimidated in any manner or insulted by hurling abuses. Judges are not fearful saints. They have to be fearless preachers so as to preserve the independence of the judiciary which is absolutely necessary for survival of democracy.