HC notice to Supreme Court advocate over 'intemperate language'

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday ordered notice to Supreme Court advocate Deepak Khosla asking why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him for using 'intemperate' language in the court.

The bench directed Khosla, who is representing Cancer Patients Aid Association, Bengaluru in the tobacco labelling case, to be present before the bench on March 21.

A division bench comprising Justice B S Patil and Justice B V Nagarathna took serious exception to the language used by the advocate in his written submission to excuse him from appearing for the case. Khosla was engaged by another counsel K V Dhananjay, representing Rahul Joshi in a case pertaining to Rajasthan High Court and Cancer Patients Aid Association, Bengaluru.

Khosla, while making his submission, was very loud, despite the bench warning him on the tone and tenor of his language. Kholsa even argued with the opponent advocates in front of the bench.

The bench passed the order after learning that advocate Dhananjay had written to the Prime Minister, Law Ministry, Chief Justice of India and Karnataka about the bench not giving a ‘fair hearing’ to them. Justice Patil, in his order, said that they would reserve their option of initiating contempt proceedings and will take action at an appropriate moment.

What the letter stated

Dhananjay, in his letter, mentioned that the bench was not giving them a fair hearing and did not allow them to argue on the health impact of tobacco use. In his letter, the counsel says, “I submit with great respect that this Bench has disturbingly and improperly refused to hear arguments about the harmful effects of tobacco as it says that such information is ‘irrelevant’, ‘unnecessary’ or would be a ‘wastage of the court’s time’.”

He has requested the Chief Justice of Karnataka to “remove this case of serious national health concern from this Bench and to entrust it to a different Bench – to prevent a grave failure of justice of national and global health concern.”

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