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Lower Court Judge Slapped With 'Criminal Contempt' For Questioning Verdicts of HC Judge

A bench of Justice Valmiki J Mehta and Justice Indermeet Kaur of the Delhi HC initiated criminal contempt charges against ADJ Dr Kamini Lau after she made ‘judicial improper remarks’ against a sitting Delhi HC judge.

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:December 24, 2017, 11:28 PM IST
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Lower Court Judge Slapped With 'Criminal Contempt' For Questioning Verdicts of HC Judge
File photo of Delhi High Court (Picture courtesy: Getty Images)
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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has come down heavily on an additional district judge, charging her with criminal contempt after she questioned the verdicts of a sitting HC judge.

A bench of Justice Valmiki J Mehta and Justice Indermeet Kaur of the Delhi HC initiated criminal contempt charges against ADJ Dr Kamini Lau after she made ‘judicial improper remarks’ against a sitting Delhi HC judge.

The Additional District Judge at Tis Hazari, Judge Lau had written four applications to the HC, asking the court to delete certain adverse remarks and observations made by the judge of the Delhi HC against her after matters dealt by her was brought before the higher court.

However, the two judge bench of the Delhi HC considering those applications noted that the remarks made by the judge of the HC were like judicial comments and hence cannot be omitted. But the court took strong offence to the allegations and language used by Lau.

"We are indeed perturbed and upset at the language used by the applicant in her applications. The applicant/judicial officer has gone much further to the shocking extent of stating that the learned single judge is selectively and successively targeting the applicant/judicial officer whereas we have already reproduced the four orders passed by the Learner Single Judge of this court to show that each of the orders reflect correct judicial observations," the order read.

Delhi HC also called the act of the ADJ as scandalizing the authority of the court. "We are of the opinion that the averments made by the applicant/judicial officer in her applications clearly amount of scandalizing or tending to scandalize or lowering the authority of this Court," reads the order.

The court justified its order to initiate criminal contempt charges against the judicial officer by stating that she had written in the application that the conduct of the HC judge would create fear psychosis among subordinate judges.

"The finality of this issue of criminal contempt is due to the statement that the learned Single Judge by passing the four orders in the four RFAs has tended to create a fear psychosis amongst subordinate judges thereby infringing upon independence and efficiency of the District Courts. The applicant/judicial officer has proceeded to give a certificate to herself that she is one of the hard working judicial officers," the bench said.

The High Court also rebuked the ADJ with strong words for making what it termed as “unacceptable and unfounded statements” with respect to observations contained in judicial orders passed by a single judge bench of the High Court.

The ADJ had alleged that the HC judge had violated the norms of judicial propriety.

"The applicant has stated that the learned Single judge of this court is guilty of violation of the norms of judicial propriety. Surely, it is impermissible for the applicant/judicial officer to make such observations against the Single judge of this court," said the HC.

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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