The Supreme Court has dismissed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by a petitioner who claimed to be a "Legal Expert" and created videos on social media slandering Judges of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana and was convicted of contempt of court.

The Counsel for the petitioner argued before the Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice C.T. Ravikumar that the petitioner, Pradeep Sharma, did what he did because of his mental condition.

“What mental condition?”, asked Justice MR Shah, adding, “Not only you misbehaved in Courtroom, outside of Court also you misbehaved”.

The counsel for the petitioner then sought liberty to withdraw the SLP.

“After making some submissions, Petitioner seeks permission to withdraw. Dismissed as withdrawn”, ordered Justice Shah.

In this case, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on February 24, after taking suo motu cognizance, had sentenced the petitioner and a few others to imprisonment for a period of 6 months along with a fine of Rs. 2,000/- under Section 12 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. The petitioner was alleged to have put forth material on social media which not only scandalized and lowered the authority of the Court but also interfered with the judicial proceedings.

Earlier, a contempt notice was issued by the High Court to a dismissed Deputy Superintendent of Police, Balwinder Singh Sekhon. The petitioner was accused of launching a vicious tirade against judges along with the said dismissed cop.

The petitioner claimed that Judges did not have the guts to open a sealed cover in a case and that he should be appointed as a nodal officer so that he could monitor the opening of the sealed cover reports and stated that he wanted to address the Court but was not given the opportunity. It is alleged that the petitioner then, in an effort to tarnish the reputation of the Court, uploaded another video against the Bench of the Court.

The High Court in its order dated February 20, 2023, had noted, “The loading of such videos on social platform at international level brings disrepute to the Constitutional Institution and it amounts to virtually inciting the public against the rule of law. Thus, a gauntlet is being thrown by the said respondents and we do not shrug off our constitutional duties to take it head on.”

The Court in its judgment had held that the respondents fell afoul of the provisions mentioned under Section 2(c)(i) to (iii) of the 1971 Act since the contempt had been committed in the face of it under Section 14 of the 1971 Act and punishable under Section 12 of the 1971 Act while also invoking Article 215 of the Constitution of India.

Cause Title- Pardeep Sharma v. Union of India & Ors.