The Madhya Pradesh High Court has directed framing of contempt charges against an Advocate for passing personal comments on the family of Judge.

The Jabalpur Bench said that the acceptance of the Advocate’s apology will amount to travesty of justice.

A criminal contempt was registered against the contemnor pursuant to an order of the Co-ordinate Bench.

A Division Bench of Justice Sheel Nagu and Justice Vinay Saraf observed, “Considering the totality of circumstances where contemnor has allegedly caused repeat act of contempt, once before Judicial Officer of District Judiciary and thereafter before the Co-ordinate Bench of this Court, acceptance of written apology tendered by contemnor would amount to travesty of justice. By the repeat act of alleged contempt, the contemnor has created a situation where this Court is compelled by circumstances of creation of contemnor, to safeguard its majesty from being further damaged, by taking this contempt proceedings to the next stage of framing of charges and holding inquiry to ascertain the veracity and genuineness of charges.”

Facts of the Case -

A show cause notice was issued to the contemnor and in his reply, he did not express any remorse or apology. Rather, he sought dropping of contempt notice by justifying his conduct. Thereafter, he filed a reply seeking dropping of proceedings by tendering unqualified and unconditional apology for his act. Prior to such incident, the contemnor was proceeded against in a contempt case arising out of an incident which took place in the Civil Judge’s Court, Jabalpur.

The High Court in that regard discharged the contemnor after accepting his unconditional apology which he tendered vide a letter in 2019. Hence, it was not the first instance where the majesty of the court was allegedly damaged due to such act of the contemnor, but a repeat instance.

The High Court in the above context noted, “Pertinently, High Court of Madhya Pradesh (Contempt of Court Proceedings) Rules, 1980 have been framed in exercise of power under Article 225 of the Constitution of India read with Section 23 of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 (for brevity “Act of 1971”) laying down procedure for conducting proceedings in civil as well as criminal contempt except Contempt Reference u/S 14 of Act of 1971. Section 14 inter alia deals with contempt committed in presence of the High Court. Thus, the procedure governing the contempt of present nature committed in the presence of this Court shall be governed by Section 14 of Act of 1971.”

The Court said that framing of charges is all the more necessary since the remorse expressed by contemnor is neither genuine nor bona fide and it is merely to escape the rigours of contempt.

“Consequently, this Court directs the Registry to frame charges against the contemnor. … After framing of charges, the contemnor shall be granted reasonable opportunity of filing his reply to the charges framed, whereafter inquiry shall be held by recording statements as far as possible, of all the witnesses who are mentioned in Annexure A/5, by Registrar (Judicial)”, it ordered.

Accordingly, the High Court listed the case after ten weeks.

Cause Title- In reference v. Shri Madan Singh


Senior Advocate Anil Khare, Advocates Greeshm Jain, Sourabh Singh Thakur, Sanjay Singh, and Sanjay K. Verma.

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