Britain Adopted Contempt Of Court Enacted First Time In India
Post on 01,June 2017   2:00 AM
By - PolyEyes Staff
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First of its kind, Supreme Court started contempt proceedings against Justice C S Karnan, a sitting judge of the Calcutta High Court. Ironically, in England, whose laws of contempt we have adopted, there hasn’t been a single conviction for scandalizing the court in almost eight decades.

Justice C S Karnan earlier suo motu stayed a Supreme Court Collegium recommendation to transfer him from the Madras High Court to the Calcutta High Court.

Suo moto is a Latin term meaning "on its own motion", It is used in situations where a government or court official acts of its own initiative.

What is Contempt of Court: Contempt of court consists of words spoken or written which tend to bring the administration of Justice into contempt, to prejudice the fair trial of any cause or matter which is the subject of Civil or Criminal proceeding or in any way to obstruct the cause of Justice.

Article 129 and Article 142 (2) of the Constitution enables the Supreme Court to issue notice and punish any one including Judges of the High Court for its contempt or contempt of any subordinate courts.

Significance of such powers: Contempt provisions have been provided to ensure that the Judges do not come under any kind pressure either from media criticisms or by general public opinion and discharge their duties without any kind of fear and favour or any external influence whatsoever.

However Contempt of Court proceedings thwarts free speech hat is guaranteed to every citizen under Article 19(1) (a) of the Indian Constitution. Therefore conflicts arise from these kind of powers.

Though Article 19(2) includes ‘contempt of court’ as a reasonable restriction on free speech but its clear demarcations and justification is lucid presently and cannot be maintained as stated in our democracy. As Pundit Thakur Das Bhargava in the Constituent Assembly clearly argued that powers to berate contempt concerned actions such as the disobedience of an order or direction of a court, only which were already punishable partially stated. Also in many instances this has been felt that Speech in criticism of the courts, ought not to be considered as defiant, as it encourages the possibility of gross judicial abuse of such powers.

Concluding Remark: A firm epistles favoring any particular party will yield to unjust legal scenario. Therefore a balanced viewpoint needs to be adopted here such that the Contempt powers should be used so that they do not chew away the Right to Freedom of Speech yet ensuring independence of the Judges. 

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