The Delhi High Court has sought the stand of a lawyer on a contempt case initiated against him for his "unwarranted outburst" in front of a judge which disrupted the proceedings.

A Division Bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Talwant Singh, hearing the case based on the directions of the judge, issued notice to the lawyer and asked him to explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him.

The judge, in the order directing registration of a contempt case, has recorded that on December 14 the lawyer "verbally attacked the bench" while refusing to "remove himself" from the Bar, "continued to shout, shriek and create an unruly scene, disrupting court proceedings", and was "virtually holding the court to ransom".

The order said the "unprecedented happening" prima facie amounted to contempt in the face of the court and was a calculated attempt to erode the confidence of the public in the administration of justice.

"Having perused the said order, we find it incumbent to issue notice to (the lawyer), returnable on 30.01.2023, to show cause why proceedings for contempt be not initiated against him," the Bench said in its order passed on December 19.

"The notice will indicate that (the lawyer) is required to file a reply to the show cause notice on or before the next date of hearing and to remain present before this Court on that date," it further said.

In the December 14 order, the judge has noted that the lawyer sought to take advantage of his enrolment as an advocate and scandalised the court despite being cautioned and "deliberately disrupted judicial proceedings".

"Due to the unsavoury incident, the proceedings remained suspended between 11.30 am to 12.15 pm on account of the commotion created by the said individual the entire incident, which unfolded before this court was to, prima facie, as one can deduct, avoid the appearance of the said individual before the concerned court (hearing a case in relation to an FIR against him)," the order said.

"He resorted to verbally attacking the Bench and her staff members by stating that the lodging of the said FIR against him is on account of this Court," it stated.

The judge said office bearers of the high court bar association forcibly removed the lawyer after they failed to persuade him to leave the courtroom.

"To resist being removed, he tried to lie down on the floor and had to be dragged out and removed physically (The lawyer)'s outburst in the courtroom was unwarranted," it said.

The judge then asked the matter be placed before the Chief Justice for sending it to an appropriate bench which may take cognizance of the criminal contempt and direct further proceedings against the lawyer, including sending a complaint to the Bar Council of Delhi.

Cause Title: Court on its own motion v. Shakti Chand Rana

Click here to read/download Order

With PTI inputs