The Allahabad High Court recently prohibited a lawyer from practising law in any court within the state of Uttar Pradesh till January 12. The lawyer is accused of insulting and threatening a lady judicial officer posted in Bulandshahr district.
In the month of July last year, the lady judge had made a reference to the high court against the lawyer, alleging that he committed criminal contempt while she was holding the court proceedings. The high court had taken cognisance of the reference and issued notice to the contemnor lawyer.
However, the matter had to be adjourned on three dates thereafter for one reason or the other submitted by the contemnor’s counsel.
Again, when the matter was put up before the bench of Justices Ashwani Kumar Mishra and Shiv Shanker Prasad on January 2, the bench was apprised that no reply had been filed on behalf of the lawyer yet and also there had been subsequent events when he again insulted the lady judge.
The special counsel appearing for the high court told the HC that the lady judge had informed that on one such occasion on December 20, 2022, due to the contemptuous act of the lawyer, she had to rise from her dais and had to take shelter in her chambers to protect her life, liberty, and dignity.
She further informed that on the next date too, the lawyer again insulted and misbehaved with her, and threatened her publicly, the special counsel submitted.
Apart from that, before the division bench, an adjournment was again sought on behalf of the lawyer on the ground that he required further time to file his reply/counter-affidavit.
To this, the bench observed, “Dilatory tactics apparently are being adopted by the contemnor while seeking adjournment before this Court. The contemnor allegedly has acted in a most irresponsible manner and his conduct leaves much to be desired. We cannot allow the rule of law to be thrown to winds at the hands of an unscrupulous contemnor."
The court added that acts of intentional disrespect to a lady judicial officer will have to be viewed seriously and dealt with strictly or else the judicial system would collapse.
Therefore, by invoking its jurisdiction under Chapter XXIV Rule 11 (2) of the Allahabad High Court Rules, the court restrained the lawyer from practice till the next date of listing in the matter.
Posting the matter for January 12, the HC ordered the accused lawyer to be present before the court personally.
Moreover, the HC directed the district judge, Bulandhshar, to ensure that necessary steps are taken for the safety and security of the lady judicial officer and to ensure that court proceedings are not hampered or interfered with in any manner by the contemnor or anyone else supporting him.
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