SC: Absence of motivation is no excuse in contempt

SC: Absence of motivation is no excuse in contempt

SC: Absence of motivation is no excuse in contempt

Absence of motivation in making insinuation of bias towards judges does not absolve one from contempt of court charges, the Supreme Court has said, refusing to accept the apology of an advocate for lowering the dignity of the court.

In its verdict, a bench of Justices B S Chauhan and A K Sikri sentenced a Meerut lawyer to six months’ imprisonment, discarding his apology as not bona fide. The apex court upheld his conviction, but reduced the fine from Rs 20,000 to 2,000.

The apex court said that an apology could have been accepted if it was tempered with a sense of genuine remorse and repentance, and not strategically calculated to avoid punishment.

The advocate had made allegations against three Allahabad High Court judges, who were dealing with the murder case of his nephew.

“Such casting of bald, oblique, unsubstantiated aspersions against the judges of a high court not only causes agony and anguish to the judges concerned, but also shakes the confidence of the public in the judiciary in its function of dispensation of justice,” the bench said.

“The judicial process is based on probity, fairness and impartiality which is unimpeachable. Such an act, especially by members of Bar who are other cogs in the wheel of justice, is highly reprehensible and deeply regretted. Absence of motivation is no excuse,” the court said, adding that power of courts to punish contempt is to secure public respect and confidence in judicial process.

The court directed the advocate to appear before the trial court to serve the sentence.