The Delhi High Court initiated contempt proceedings against an Indian woman residing in Australia under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 for the egregious act of verbally assaulting a judge in a virtual hearing.

The woman verbally assaulted the judge when the sequence of proceedings deviated from the scheduled order, with item 11 being addressed before item 10.

The Court, therefore, directed her to appear in person on the next scheduled hearing date, set for April 16, 2024.

The Court established precautionary measures, directing the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO), to confiscate her Passport/VISA upon her arrival in India, thereby preventing her departure from the country without explicit permission.

Such aforesaid derogatory remarks made by the plaintiff/Anita Kumari Gupta to denigrate the Court are patently contemptuous and show the complete disregard to the dignity of the Court, despite the fact that the counsels representing respective parties were present and had agreed to the date given i.e., 16.04.2024 for final arguments”, the Bench of Justice Neena Bansal Krishna observed.

Advocate Sunil Mehta appeared for the Plaintiff and Advocate Sanjeev Mahajan appeared for the Respondent.

Following the scheduled proceedings, during which item No. 11 was addressed, the Plaintiff, participated via video conferencing. However, she exhibited contemptuous behaviour by verbally abusing the court, questioning the sequence of agenda items, and using derogatory language. As per the order, she said, “How Could Item No. 11 Be Taken Before Item No. 10” and“Ye Saali Kya Kar Rahi Hai, What The F.... is Going On In This Court”.

Consequently, the Court initiated a Suo Moto Contempt action, and issued a Show-Cause Notice to the Plaintiff, currently residing in Sydney, Australia, prompting her to explain why she should not face penalties under the Contempt of Courts Act.

The Court, therefore, directed the Plaintiff to personally appear before the Court on the upcoming hearing date, scheduled for April 16, 2024.

Additionally, the Court ordered the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Delhi to seize the Passport/VISA of the Plaintiff, upon her arrival in India before the specified hearing date. The Plaintiff's counsel undertook the responsibility of conveying this order to the concerned party.

Furthermore, the Court directed the High Commission of India in Canberra, Australia, to communicate this order to Plaintiff, presently residing in Sydney, Australia, through the Consulate General of India in Sydney.

Accordingly, the Court listed the matter for April 16, 2024.

Cause Title: Anita Kumari Gupta v Ved Bhushan & Others

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