Contempt case: SC lawyer debarred

Last Updated 27 March 2019, 20:53 IST

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sentenced advocate Mathews J Nedumpara to three months jail for contempt of court by "browbeating" the judges.

A bench of Justices R F Nariman and Vineet Saran, however, suspended the sentence with a condition that he would abide by his own undertaking and won't browbeat judges in future.

The bench also barred Nedumpara from practising in the top court for one year.

On March 12, he was held guilty of contempt of court for repeated attempts to "browbeat and insult" the judges and becoming abusive during arguments.

The court had also found that the lawyer took the name of senior advocate Fali S Nariman and contended that the judges were unfit to grant the senior advocate designation to lawyers as they favoured their own relatives.

On Wednesday, advocate Subash Jha argued for Nedumpara on the point of sentence. In his plea, Nedumpara contended that the matter should not be heard by this bench. The court, however, rejected his plea.

During the hearing, the bench presided over by Justice Nariman told him, "Justice U U Lalit has a father who is practising lawyer. Are you aware I have a daughter who is practising lawyer and not allowed to enter this court?"

"Is it issue-based or related to individual? Non-mentioning of the name of Justice Lalit shows that it is not issue-based," the bench said.

The bench also pointed out that the Bombay Bar Association and others have written a letter to the President and the CJI wherein "they attacked us in the most scurrilous manner".

"You are acting in tandem. You have undermined the highest judiciary," the bench said.

The bench decided to issue a fresh contempt notice against Nedumpara and others and put the matter before the CJI for referring it to another bench.

(Published 27 March 2019, 19:28 IST)

Follow us on