Contempt of court – by Adocate = not entitled to practice in the court ? = “Sri Rakesh Tripathi, Advocate, on 21st December, 2012 during lunch hour without taking permission from C.J.M., Allahabad entered into his chamber along with 2-3 colleagues and at the said point of time he started hurling filthy abuses to the CJM and the matter did not end there, as he also raised his hand to beat the Chief Judicial Magistrate and also threatened him of dire consequences. The contemnor also asked the C.J.M. as to why he has not passed an order for lodging F.I.R. when he had asked for the same. This act on the part of the contemnor constitutes criminal contempt within the meaning of Section 2(c) of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, as this act has not only lowered the authority of the Court but also scandalised the Court and the same has also the tendency of interference with the due course of administration of justice.” -When the rules stipulate that a person who committed contempt of court cannot have the unreserved right to continue to appear and plead and conduct cases in the courts without any qualm or remorse, the Bar Council cannot overrule such a regulation concerning the orderly conduct of court proceedings. Courts of law are structured in such a design as to evoke respect and reverence for the majesty of law and justice. The machinery for dispensation of justice according to law is operated by the court. Proceedings inside the courts are always expected to be held in a dignified and orderly manner. The very sight of an advocate, who was found guilty of contempt of court on the previous hour, standing in the court and arguing a case or crossexamining a witness on the same day, unaffected by the contemptuous behavior he hurled at the court, would erode the dignity of the court and even corrode the majesty of it besides impairing the confidence of the public in the efficacy of the institution of the courts. This necessitates vesting of power with the High Court to formulate rules for regulating the proceeding inside the court including the conduct of advocates during such proceedings. That power should not be confused with the right to practice law. While the Bar Council can exercise control over the latter the High Court should be in control of the former. – where an advocate is shown to have accepted money in the name of a judge or on the pretext of influencing him; or where an advocate is found tampering with the court’s record; or where an advocate is found actively taking part in faking court orders (fake bail orders are not unknown in several High Courts!); or where an advocate has made it into a practice to browbeat and abuse judges and on that basis has earned the reputation to get a case transferred from an “inconvenient” court; or where an advocate is found to be in the habit of sending unfounded and unsubstantiated allegation petitions against judicial officers and judges to the superior courts. =sentence in the following manner : 1. The sentence of imprisonemnt of 6 months shall remain suspended for further period of 3 years subject to his maintaining good and proper conduct with a condition that he shall not enter the premises of the District Judgeship, Allahabad for a further period of three years in addition to what he has undergone already. The period shall commence from 1.7.2019 to 30.6.2022. In case of non violation of aforesaid condition the sentence after three years shall be remitted 2.However, sentence of imprisonment may be activated by this Court in case it is found that there is breach of any condition made by the concerned advocate during the period of three years. 3. He shall deposit fine of Rs.2000 as imposed by the High Court. In case of failure to deposit fine he shall not enter the premises of District Judgeship for a period of three months

1
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1223 OF 2015
RAKESH TIWARI, ADVOCATE … APPELLANT
VERSUS
ALOK PANDEY, C.J.M. … RESPONDENT
J U D G M E N T
ARUN MISHRA, J.

  1. The appellant, advocate, has been convicted for his undesirable conduct
    by the High Court vide impugned judgment and order under the Contempt of
    Courts Act and has been sentenced to simple imprisonment of six months and a
    fine of Rs.2000/- and in case of non-payment of fine, to undergo simple
    imprisonment for a further period of 15 days. He has also been directed not to
    enter the premises of the District Judgeship, Allahabad for a period of six
    months w.e.f. 15.7.2015 and the contemnor shall remain under constant watch of
    the District Judge, Allahabad, for a period of two years; and in case of any
    objectionable conduct, causing interference in peaceful and smooth functioning
    of the court, the District Judge has been asked to report the matter to the High
    Court.
  2. The contemnor has been charged with criminal contempt to the following
    effect:
    2
    “Sri Rakesh Tripathi, Advocate, on 21st December, 2012
    during lunch hour without taking permission from C.J.M.,
    Allahabad entered into his chamber along with 2-3
    colleagues and at the said point of time he started hurling
    filthy abuses to the CJM and the matter did not end there,
    as he also raised his hand to beat the Chief Judicial
    Magistrate and also threatened him of dire consequences.
    The contemnor also asked the C.J.M. as to why he has
    not passed an order for lodging F.I.R. when he had asked
    for the same. This act on the part of the contemnor
    constitutes criminal contempt within the meaning of
    Section 2(c) of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, as this act
    has not only lowered the authority of the Court but also
    scandalised the Court and the same has also the tendency
    of interference with the due course of administration of
    justice.”
  3. The reply was filed by the contemnor to the effect that he had filed an
    application on behalf of Akhilesh Kumar Shukla on 19.10.2012 under section
    156(3) Cr.P.C. which was heard by C.J.M. of Allahabad on 30.10.2012 and
    8.11.2012 was the date fixed for passing the order. The contemnor alleged that
    before pronouncement of the order on 8.11.2012 he saw one of the accused,
    Sharad Tandon, General Manager, District Industries Centre, Allahabad, sitting
    in the chamber of the CJM. He apprehended that his client will not get justice,
    hence, he moved an application on 8.11.2012 before the Chief Judicial
    Magistrate not to pass any order since the contemnor was willing to file a
    transfer application before the District Judge, Allahabad. The CJM assured not
    to pass any order but actually passed an order on the same day by converting
    application filed under section 156(3) Cr.PC into a complaint case registered as
    Case No.13500 of 2012. The CJM took away the application from record.
    3
    Thereafter, the contemnor moved an application before the District & Sessions
    Judge, Allahabad on 9.11.2012 making a complaint against the CJM, Allahabad.
  4. Another application was filed by the contemnor on 30.11.2012 under
    section 156(3) Cr. P.C. by counsel appearing on behalf of Alok Kumar Shukla.
    He stated to the CJM that he had moved an application before the Sessions
    Judge, Allahabad, hence, CJM should not pass any order. The same should be
    placed before the Sessions Judge, Allahabad for assigning the same to some
    other court. In January, 2013 the contemnor came to know that the CJM had
    passed an order on 18.12.2012 treating the application registered as Complaint
    Case No.1919/2013. Initially, it was registered as Miscellaneous Application
    No.1747/XII/2012. Non-bailable warrant has been issued in the same. He did
    not enter into the chamber of the CJM on 21.12.2012, neither abused nor
    threatened him to beat. The advocates were on strike on the said date. There was
    no question of entering the chamber of CJM or to use filthy language.
  5. The High Court has found the contemnor along with 2-3 junior advocates
    entered the chamber of the CJM and misbehaved as well as attempted to assault
    him. No application was filed by him on 8.11.2012 before the CJM not to pass
    any order. It was a concocted story. The Magistrate did not reject the application
    outright and required the complainant to adduce evidence which course was
    available to him. The contemnor did not pursue the matter and got the earlier
    case dismissed as not pressed and filed second application. On this the CJM has
    again registered the complaint case. The matter is pending in which non-
    4
    bailable warrant has been issued against the accused. The allegation of
    sympathy towards accused by the Magistrate has been found to be unfounded,
    baseless and figment of imagination of contemnor. The defense taken has not
    been substantiated by the contemnor.
  6. The High Court has observed that considering the increasing tendency of
    the advocates in making scurrilous allegations against the Presiding Officers of
    subordinate courts has to be curbed. The acts of abusing and misbehaving are on
    increase. The action of the advocate amounts to lowering the dignity and
    majesty of the court. A deliberate attempt to scandalise a judicial officer of
    subordinate court is bound to shake the confidence of the litigant public in the
    system and has to be tackled strictly. Damage is not only to the reputation of the
    Judge but also to the fair name of the judiciary. Judges cannot be tamed by such
    tactics into submission to secure a desired order. The foundation of the system is
    based on independence and impartiality of the Judges as well as responsibility
    to impart justice. In case their confidence, impartiality and reputation are shaken
    the same is bound to adversely affect the independence of the judiciary.
  7. In our opinion, an advocate is duty bound to act as per the higher status
    conferred upon him as an officer of the court. He plays a vital role in
    preservation of society and justice delivery system. Advocate has no business to
    threaten a Judge or hurl abuses for judicial order which he has passed. In case of
    complaint of the Judge, it was open to the advocate to approach concerned
    higher authorities but there is no licence to any member of the Bar to indulge in
    5
    such undignified conduct to lower down the dignity of the Court. Such attempts
    deserve to be nipped at the earliest as there is no room to such attack by a
    member of noble profession.
  8. The role of a lawyer is indispensable in the justice delivery system. He
    has to follow the professional ethics and also to maintain high standards. He has
    to assist the court and also defend the interest of his client. He has to give due
    regard to his opponent and also to his counsel. What may be proper to others in
    the society, may be improper for him to do as he belongs to an intellectual class
    of the society and as a member of the noble profession, the expectations from
    him are accordingly higher. Advocates are held in high esteem in the society.
    The dignity of court is in fact dignity of the system of which an advocate being
    officer of the court. The act of the advocate in the present case is not only
    improper but requires gross condemnation.
  9. It has been observed by this Court in the matter of Mr. ‘G‚‘, A Senior
    Advocate of the Supreme Court in AIR 1954 SC 557 that an advocate has to
    conduct himself in a manner befitting the high and honourable profession.
    Following observations have been made in para 41 :
    “41. …….
    “with ordinary legal rights, but with the special and rigid rules
    of professional conduct expected of and applied to a specially
    priviledged class of persons who, because of their priviledged
    status, are subject to certain disabilities which do not attach to other
    men and which do not attach even to them in a non-professional
    character. … He [a legal practitioner} is bound to conduct himself
    in a manner befitting the high and honourable profession to whose
    privileges he has so long been admitted; and if he departs from the
    6
    high standards which that profession has set for itself and demands
    of him in professional matters, he is liable to disciplinary action.”
  10. Similarly in Lalit Mohan Das v. Advocate General, Orissa AIR 1957
    SC 250, this Court observed :
    “A member of the Bar undoubtedly owes a duty to his client
    and must place before the Court all that can faitly and reasonably be
    submitted on behalf of his client. He may even submit that a
    particular order is not correct and may ask for a review of that
    order. At the same time, a member of the Bar is an officer of the
    Court and owes a duty to the Court in which he is appearing. He
    must uphold the dignity and decorum of the Court and must not do
    anything to bring the Court itself into disrepute. The appellant
    before us grossly overstepped the limits of propriety when he made
    imputations of partiality and unfairness against the Munsif in open
    Court. In suggesting that the Munsif followed no principle in his
    orders, the appellant was adding insult to injury, because
    preliminary point of jurisdiction and Court fees, which order had
    been upheld by the High Court in revision. Scandalising the Court
    in such manner is really polluting the very fount of justice; such
    conduct as the appellant indulged in was not a matter between an
    individual member of the Bar and a member of the judicial service;
    it brought into disrepute the whole administration of justice. From
    that point of view, the conduct of the appellant was highly
    reprehensible.”
  11. The main question urged is as to the sentence to be imposed in the case.
    In Supreme Court Bar Association v. Union of India & Anr. (1998) 4 SCC 409,
    this Court has laid down that though it is not permissible for a court to suspend
    the licence to practice but at the same time it is open to this Court or the High
    Court to debar an advocate from appearing in the court. This Court has laid
    down that though suspension of a lawyer is not permissible to be ordered but
    when he is convicted under the contempt of court, it is possible for this Court or
    the High Court to prevent the advocate to appear in the court. The Court has
    observed:
    7
    “80. In a given case it may be possible, for this Court or the High
    Court, the prevent the contemner advocate to appear before it till
    he purges himself of the contempt but that is much different from
    suspending or revoking his license or debarring him to practice
    as an advocate. In a case of contemptuous, contumacious,
    unbecoming or blameworthy conduct of an Advocate-on-Record,
    this court possesses jurisdiction, under the Supreme Court Rules
    itself, to withdraw his privilege to practice as an Advocate-anRecord because that privilege is conferred by this Court and the
    power to grant the privilege includes the power to revoke or
    suspend it. The withdrawal of that privilege, however, does not
    amount to suspending or revoking his license to practice as an
    advocate in other courts or Tribunals.”
    (emphasis supplied)
  12. In Pravin C. Shah v. K.A. Mohd. Ali & Anr. (2001) 8 SCC 650, this Court
    observed that an advocate found guilty of contempt cannot have an unreserved
    right to appear in court, the court may refuse to hear him:
    “17. When the rules stipulate that a person who committed
    contempt of court cannot have the unreserved right to continue to
    appear and plead and conduct cases in the courts without any
    qualm or remorse, the Bar Council cannot overrule such a
    regulation concerning the orderly conduct of court proceedings.
    Courts of law are structured in such a design as to evoke respect
    and reverence for the majesty of law and justice. The machinery
    for dispensation of justice according to law is operated by the
    court. Proceedings inside the courts are always expected to be
    held in a dignified and orderly manner. The very sight of an
    advocate, who was found guilty of contempt of court on the
    previous hour, standing in the court and arguing a case or crossexamining a witness on the same day, unaffected by the
    contemptuous behavior he hurled at the court, would erode the
    dignity of the court and even corrode the majesty of it besides
    impairing the confidence of the public in the efficacy of the
    institution of the courts. This necessitates vesting of power with
    the High Court to formulate rules for regulating the proceeding
    inside the court including the conduct of advocates during such
    proceedings. That power should not be confused with the right to
    practice law. While the Bar Council can exercise control over the
    latter the High Court should be in control of the former.
    8

  1. Lord Denning had observed as follows in Hadkinson vs.
    Hadkinson 1952 (2) All ER 567: (All ER p.575B-C)
    “…I am of the opinion that the fact that a party to a cause
    has disobeyed an order of the court is not of itself a bar to
    his being heard, but if his disobedience is such that, so long
    as it continues, it impedes the course of justice in the cause,
    by making it more difficult for the court to ascertain the
    truth or to enforce the orders which it may make, then the
    court may in its discretion refuse to hear him until the
    impediment is removed or good reason is shown why it
    should not be removed.”

  1. It is still open to the respondent Advocate to purge himself of
    the contempt in the manner indicated above. But until that
    process is completed respondent Advocate cannot act or plead in
    any court situated within the domain of the Kerala High Court,
    including the subordinate courts thereunder. The Registrar of the
    High Court of Kerala shall intimate all the courts about this
    interdict as against the respondent-advocates.”
    (emphasis supplied)
  2. In Bar Council of India v. High Court of Kerala (2004) 6 SCC 311, this
    Court has observed thus:
    “29. Punishment for commission of contempt and punishment for
    misconduct, professional or other misconduct, stand on different
    footings. A person does not have a fundamental right to practice
    in any court. Such a right is conferred upon him under the
    provisions of the Advocates Act which necessarily would mean
    that the conditions laid down therein would be applicable in
    relation thereto. Section 30 of the Act uses the expressions
    “subject to”, which would include Section 34 of the Act.“
    (emphasis supplied)
  3. In R K Anand v. Registrar, Delhi High Court (2009) 8 SCC 106, this
    Court has observed that advocate can be disallowed from appearing in court on
    being found guilty of contempt of court:
    9
    “238. In Supreme Court Bar Assn. the direction prohibiting an
    advocate from appearing in court for a specified period was
    viewed as a total and complete denial of his right to practice law
    and the bar was considered as a punishment inflicted on him. In
    Ex. Capt. Harish Uppal it was seen not as punishment for
    professional misconduct but as a measure necessary to regulate
    the court’s proceedings and to maintain the dignity and orderly
    functioning of the courts. We may respectfully add that in a given
    case a direction disallowing an advocate who is convicted of
    criminal contempt from appearing in court may not only be a
    measure to maintain the dignity and orderly functioning of the
    courts but may become necessary for the self-protection of the
    court and for preservation of the purity of court proceedings. Let
    us, for example, take the case where an advocate is shown to
    have accepted money in the name of a judge or on the pretext of
    influencing him; or where an advocate is found tampering with
    the court’s record; or where an advocate is found actively taking
    part in faking court orders (fake bail orders are not unknown in
    several High Courts!); or where an advocate has made it into a
    practice to browbeat and abuse judges and on that basis has
    earned the reputation to get a case transferred from an
    “inconvenient” court; or where an advocate is found to be in the
    habit of sending unfounded and unsubstantiated allegation
    petitions against judicial officers and judges to the superior
    courts. Unfortunately, these examples are not from imagination.
    These things are happening more frequently than we care to
    acknowledge.
  4. We may also add that these illustrations are not exhaustive
    but there may be other ways in which a malefactor’s conduct and
    actions may pose a real and imminent threat to the purity of court
    proceedings, cardinal to any court’s functioning, apart from
    constituting a substantive offense and contempt of court and
    professional misconduct. In such a situation the court does not
    only have the right but it also has the obligation cast upon it to
    protect itself and save the purity of its proceedings from being
    polluted in any way and to that end bar the malefactor from
    appearing before the courts for an appropriate period of time.
  5. It is already explained in Ex. Captain Harish Uppal that a
    direction of this kind by the Court cannot be equated with
    punishment for professional misconduct. Further, the prohibition
    against appearance in courts does not affect the right of the
    lawyer concerned to carry on his legal practice in other ways as
    indicated in the decision. We respectfully submit that the decision
    10
    in Ex-Capt. Harish Uppal v. Union of India places the issue in
    correct perspective and must be followed to answer the question
    at issue before us.”
    (emphasis supplied)
  6. In the instant case the advocate has acted contrary to the obligations.
    He has set a bad example before others while destroying the dignity of the
    court and the Judge. The action has the effect of weakening of confidence of
    the people in courts. The judiciary is one of the main pillars of democracy
    and is essential to peaceful and orderly development of society. The Judge
    has to deliver justice in a fearless and impartial manner. He cannot be
    intimidated in any manner or insulted by hurling abuses. Judges are not
    fearful saints. They have to be fearless preachers so as to preserve the
    independence of the judiciary which is absolutely necessary for survival of
    democracy.
  7. The act stated amounts to criminal contempt of court. The High Court
    has noted that the concerned advocate did not apologise and has maligned
    and scandalised the subordinate court. He has made bare denial and has not
    shown any remorse for his misconduct. Considering the gravamen of the
    allegations the High Court has imposed the imprisonment of SI for 6 months
    with fine of Rs.2000 and in default to pay fine or to undergo SI for 15 days.
    He has been restrained from enering the judgeship of Alahabad for a period
    of 6 months that was to commence from 15.7.2015 and he had been kept
    under watch for a period of 2 years. Considering the nature of misconduct,
    while upholding the conviction for criminal contempt, we modify the
    11
    sentence in the following manner :
  8. The sentence of imprisonemnt of 6 months shall remain suspended for
    further period of 3 years subject to his maintaining good and proper
    conduct with a condition that he shall not enter the premises of the
    District Judgeship, Allahabad for a further period of three years in
    addition to what he has undergone already. The period shall
    commence from 1.7.2019 to 30.6.2022. In case of non violation of
    aforesaid condition the sentence after three years shall be remitted.
  9. However, sentence of imprisonment may be activated by this Court in
    case it is found that there is breach of any condition made by the
    concerned advocate during the period of three years.
  10. He shall deposit fine of Rs.2000 as imposed by the High Court. In case
    of failure to deposit fine he shall not enter the premises of District
    Judgeship for a period of three months.
  11. The appeal is, accordingly, disposed of. No costs.
    ……………………….J.
    (ARUN MISHRA)
    ………………………..J.
    (NAVIN SINHA)
    NEW DELHI;
    MAY 10, 2019