Three lawyers face contempt proceedings for submitting a false news report about a judge, undermining the court’s integrity.

bacchan singh case

Best Law Books

Three lawyers face contempt proceedings for submitting a false news report about a judge, undermining the court’s integrity. : In a significant development, the Bombay High Court has taken suo moto contempt proceedings against three advocates who presented a fabricated news report, casting doubts on the integrity of a sitting High Court judge. The contemptuous act occurred during the hearing of a petition filed by BJP leader Amar Mulchandani, entangled in the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) prosecution related to the Seva Vikas Cooperative Bank scam amounting to Rs 429 crore.

Background of the Case

Mulchandani’s petition sought the quashing of the ED case against him and requested bail. The controversy arose when an application, submitted by Bhisham Pahuja through his lawyers Zoheb Merchant and Minal Chandnani, included a newspaper clipping making allegations against a High Court judge. This unsubstantiated report led the judge to recuse from further adjudicating on Mulchandani’s plea.

Fabricated News Report Unveiled

The newspaper clipping suggested a rumor that the High Court was likely to grant bail to Mulchandani due to his alleged friendship with the judge. It further claimed that a complaint had been filed with the Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud, urging the withdrawal of the case from the concerned judge and its reassignment to another bench. Taking cognizance of the seriousness of the matter, the court directed the police to verify the authenticity of the news report.

Police Confirmation of Fabrication

Subsequently, the police investigation revealed that the newspaper clipping was indeed fabricated. This revelation added a layer of deceit to an already contentious legal battle.

Lawyers’ Defense and Court’s Displeasure

When questioned, the lawyers representing Pahuja contended that they presented the newspaper clipping at their client’s insistence. However, the court expressed displeasure at this explanation, emphasizing that a lawyer should not act as a mere mouthpiece for the client. The court asserted that legal professionals have a duty to uphold the sanctity of the judicial process and should refrain from participating in baseless attacks that tarnish the reputation of the judiciary.

The court observed that a lawyer is not merely a spokesperson for their client; in their professional capacity, they cannot collaborate with their client to criticize the Judge and undermine the reputation of the institution.

Judicial Independence Upheld

The intervenor, Pahuja, claimed that he shared the news clipping to bring to the judge’s attention the attempts to malign his reputation. However, the court rejected this defense, asserting that bringing an unverified news clipping to the court demonstrated the lack of genuine intentions.

The court, in its comprehensive 25-page order, felt compelled to reiterate that judges, including Respondent No.5 (the intervenor) and similar parties, are immune to personal criticism. The court emphasized that statements or writings by individuals deemed unscrupulous have no bearing on the decision-making process or the judges’ unwavering fulfillment of their duties.

Unconditional Apology Not Enough

In an attempt to ameliorate the situation, the advocates representing the intervenor tendered an unconditional apology, expressing their faith in the court. Despite the apology, the court concluded that the three lawyers engaged in a deliberate and contemptuous act to coerce the judge into recusing from the case.

The court determined that engaging in a purposeful, driven, and disrespectful action, which undermines the functioning of justice, tarnishes the administration of justice, or diminishes the court’s dignity, qualifies as criminal contempt under the Contempt of Courts Act.

Implications of the Contempt Proceedings

The initiation of contempt proceedings against the three lawyers underscores the court’s commitment to upholding the integrity of the judicial system. The legal fraternity is now closely watching how this case unfolds, as it raises questions about the ethical responsibilities of lawyers and the consequences they may face for attempting to tarnish the image of the judiciary.

As the contempt proceedings progress, the case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of maintaining the dignity of the judiciary. It emphasizes that legal professionals must exercise caution and responsibility in their actions, refraining from engaging in activities that may undermine public trust in the judicial system. The Bombay High Court’s proactive stance in safeguarding its reputation sends a clear message that any attempt to compromise the integrity of the court will be met with stern consequences.

Share this Article:

Leave a Comment

Presidents Day 2024: History, Significance, and Shopping Deals The Pubic examinations (prevention of unfair means) bill, 2024 Supreme Court’s Landmark Decision on Electoral Bonds Scheme Restrictions Imposed under Section 144 in Delhi till March 12 Dual Citizenship: Insights and Challenges for Indians Abroad Delhi High Court Bar Association Honors Legal Pioneers in Landmark Cases Digital Arrest New Scam Delhi Judicial Service Exam 2023: Notification Overview Switzerland Parliament Passes Burqa Ban: What You Need to Know Woman Loses All Limbs After Consuming Contaminated Tilapia fish Important Legal Maxim UK ban American xl bully dog Rosh Hashanah 2023 G20 Summit 2023 Full Moon Supermoon Blue Moon India Gears Up to Host G20 Summit in Delhi 2023 Shivaji Maharaj Statue desecrated in Goa Dubai burj khalifa Indian flag 2023 Partition horrors remembrance day Indiana mom dies after drinking water