A Division Bench of the Rajasthan High Court comprising of Chief Justice Mr. Akil Kureshi and Justice Rekha Borana has dismissed a Contempt Petition filed by a Civil Judge, Rajasthan Ms. Garima Sauda against a practising Advocate Mr. Goverdhan Singh.
AAG Mr. Sandeep Shah appeared as an Amicus Curiae before the HC.
The case of the Petitioner before the High Court was that while a criminal case was pending before her for adjudication, Respondent No. 1 made a highly objectionable comment on his Facebook page. Thereafter, several people responded to his comment which was also objectionable and contemptuous.
The Court noted, "The facebook post in question refers to various dates on which the criminal case was posted from time to time. Thereafter, the author of the post i.e. respondent no.1 herein has stated that after several dates, no justice is being done. Whether the complaint had to be registered as F.I.R. or not is all that was required to be decided."
The Court referred to the following remark of the Respondent –
"Had asked for justice and got only unlimited adjournments."
The Bench observed that the action of the Respondent no. 1 did not amount to contempt of Court in any manner. Further in this context, the Court opined –
"The criminal contempt has been defined in Section 2(c) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 as to mean the publication of any matter or the doing of any other act whatsoever which scandalises or tends to scandalise, or lowers or tends to lower the authority of, any court; or prejudices, or interferes or tends to interfere with, the due course of any judicial proceeding; or interferes or tends to interfere with, or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the administration of justice in any other manner."
Additionally, the Bench elucidated that the remarks of the Respondent were in the nature of stating that a particular proceeding had lingered on before the Court for an unduly long period of time. That by itself in isolation cannot be seen as contemptuous.
"The reference to the remarks of several other people in response to this post which may be highly objectionable would not turn the action of the present respondent contemptuous, unless a specific design or plan is shown to be in existence," the Bench held.
Accordingly, the Court terminated the contempt proceedings.