The Delhi High Court pulled up a lawyer for making contemptuous remarks in the chat box during virtual court hearings.

A Bench of Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta took action after discovering the comments made by the petitioner. The Court added, “Petitioner is directed to show-cause as to why the notice for contempt be not issued and contempt proceedings initiated against him and referred to concerned Roster Bench/Division Bench for consideration in accordance with law.”

One of the comments, which was reproduced by the single judge in the order, criticized the court's speed in hearing his cases and implied that justice could not be served by a fearful judge.

Additional Public Prosecutor Meenakshi Dahiya appeared for the State.

Petitoner’s comments were made just a day before his case was to be heard. When asked to explain his comments on May 9, he informed the Court that he would withdraw his review petition and approach the Supreme Court instead.

The Court noted that petitioner, being a practicing lawyer, was expected to maintain decorum, but showed no remorse for his remarks and instead defended them. Earlier in January, his petition against a trial court's decision was dismissed, with a fine of ₹25,000 imposed on him. Subsequently, he filed a review petition against this order.

The Court said, “On the face of record, the comments were placed in public domain with intention to scandalize the Court and are patently contemptuous and interfere with due course of judicial proceedings. Since the comments have been placed to undermine the authority of the Court in the perception of public at large, the same fall within the ambit of criminal contempt under Section 14 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.”

The Court said, “This Court is of the considered opinion that petitioner can always exercise the remedies available to him in accordance with law but the same does not give liberty to make contemptuous allegations and undermine the authority of the Court.”

The matter is scheduled for further hearing today.

Cause Title: Sanjeev Kumar v. State of NCT of Delhi & Ors.

Click here to read/download Order