The Delhi High Court while accepting an apology of a single father involved in a contempt case held that the anxiety during a trial does not justify his actions of casting aspersion on the presiding Judge.

The Court closed the said contempt case and imposed a cost of Rs. 5,000/- on the accused.

A Single Bench of Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora observed, “… the anxiety which the Respondent went through during the trial does not justify his actions of casting aspersion on the presiding Judge. The fact that the Respondent elected to defend his own case is no justification for being disrespectful towards the presiding Judge and therefore, the opinion of the ASJ that accused with a mala fide intent had started to quote him in such a manner, so as to show that he is deliberately trying to supress the evidences of the criminal case and that the accused has been casting aspersions on the integrity of the Court in order to justify his act of moving one application after another, cannot be faulted with.”

The Bench further said that if the explanation offered by the accused for his intemperate pleadings is accepted, it would entitle every litigant to undermine the majesty of the Court on the specious plea of anxiety.

Senior Advocate Akshay Makhija and Advocate Adarsh Chamoli appeared for the respondent.

In this case, the Court had dismissed the contempt petition filed in the year 2016 which was referred by the Additional Sessions Judge. It was remarked by the ASJ that the respondent routinely questioned the legitimacy of the Court. The respondent during the course of the trial of the case filed by his ex-wife preferred successive applications seeking relief. He habitually casted aspersions on the integrity of the Court upon being denied the said relief.

In the above regard, the High Court noted, “The present contempt proceedings have been pending since 2016 and the criminal trial as well remained pending until 24.07.2018. Therefore, in view of the submissions made by the learned Amicus Curiae, as well as the fact that the Respondent is a single father, who is looking after his five children, this Court deems it appropriate to accept the unconditional apology tendered by the Respondent, with a warning to him to exercise restraint and refrain from casting any aspersion on the Court.”

The Court directed the accused to deposit the cost of Rs. 5,000/- with Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee within a period of two weeks.

“… if in future the Respondent herein similarly casts aspersion on the integrity of the Court, in any legal proceedings where he is a party, the record of the present contempt petition shall be read in evidence and the subsequent conduct will be considered as an aggravated contempt of the Court within the meaning of Section 2(c) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971”, said the Court.

Accordingly, the Court disposed of the contempt petition.

Cause Title- Court On Its Own Motion v. Rehman Aftab Alam (Neutral Citation: 2023/DHC/001288)

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