The Supreme Court while dealing with a Special Leave Petition filed against the Judgment of the Karnataka High Court in which a challenge to the selection of the Chief Information Commissioner and the Information Commissioners by the State of Karnataka was dismissed held that even a lawyer who subscribes his signatures to the derogatory and contemptuous averments is guilty of committing contempt of the Court.

The Bench of Justice B.R. Gavai and Justice B.V. Nagarathna while referring to the decision of the Constitution Bench in the case of M.Y. Shareef and Another v. The Hon'ble Judges of the High Court of Nagpur and Ors. (1955) 1 S.C.R. 757 observed –

"The aforesaid observatins are not only derogatory to the Karnataka High Court but highly contemptuous in nature. … even a lawyer who subscribes his signatures to such derogatory and contemptuous averments is guilty for committing contempt of the Court."

The Apex Court sought a response from the petitioner and the Advocate-on-Record, Mr. Vipin Kumar Jai as to why an action for contempt of Court should not be initiated against them.

The Special Leave Petition challenged the concurrent orders passed by the Single Judge as well as the Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court. The writ petition got dismissed by the Single Judge and the Division Bench dismissed the appeal. After that, the petitioner moved the Supreme Court.

The High Court dismissed the appeal on the ground that the appellant suppressed the material facts of his avocation and there is no locus standi to file the writ petition and appeal. The Court also stated that the appellant has wasted the time of the Court and imposed the cost of Rs. 5 lakhs.

The petitioner argued that the High Court has decided only to show favoritism towards the respondents and to gain publicity and has imposed the exemplary cost for an ulterior purpose.

The Supreme Court in this regard ordered –

"Issue notice, returnable on 02.12.2022, to the petitioner - Mohan Chandra P. as well as the Advocate on Record, Mr. Vipin Kumar Jai, as to why an action for contempt of the Court be not initiated against them. Both the above-named persons shall remain present in the Court on 02.12.2022."

Cause Title – Mohan Chandra P. v. The State of Karnataka & Ors.

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