The Supreme Court on Monday refused to close contempt proceedings against lawyers involved in vandalism in court premises during their strike demanding formation of new Benches of the Orissa High Court.
According to livelaw.in, Senior Advocate, Vijay Hansaria apprised a Bench comprising Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice Manoj Misra that the lawyers against whom the Apex Court had issued contempt notices have tendered unconditional apology. In view of the same, he sought the Court’s indulgence in closing the contempt proceedings by accepting the apology. He submitted that the message has gone loud and clear to the advocates and they would not indulge in such activities in the future. However, Justice Kaul did not seem to be impressed by the suggestion. In his opinion the apology was tendered merely to wiggle out of the uncomfortable situation that the lawyers find themselves in, at the present.
Accordingly, the Bench passed the following order –
“It is also mentioned that the advocates and the associations have tendered unqualified apology and the same should be accepted. In your view it is too early in the day to do that, because of their past conduct in the earlier proceedings and this being a second time. We would like to watch if the apology really comes from the heart or is only to get out of this present contempt proceedings. It can only be reflected by their continuing conduct…”
Senior Advocate, Arvind Datar, appearing on behalf of the Orissa High Court, requested the Bench to consider passing directions to the concerned advocates and associations to give an undertaking that they would not display such misdemeanour in the future. The Bench recorded in the order, that the affidavits ought to be accompanied by such an undertaking.
Towards the end, at the request of the Bar Council of India, the Bench clarified that the pendency of contempt proceedings before the Supreme Court does not impede BCI from going ahead with its disciplinary proceedings.
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