The Orissa High Court has issued contempt of court proceedings notice to the president of a lawyers’ body in Khurda district for allegedly misbehaving with a woman judicial officer.
Acting on a plea by Siona Siddharth Moharana, Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) posted at Tangi, a division bench of Justice S. Talapatra and Justice Dr. S.K. Panigrahi took strong exception to such show of disrespect to a judicial officer by observing “we are taken aback how a responsible office-bearer of the Bar Association could behave in the manner with a Judicial Magistrate, who was discharging her judicial duties”.
The incident took place in presence of Court staffs, police escorts of two Police Stations and CASI staffs and other outsiders when Nakul Kumar Nayak, President, Lawyers Bars Association, Tangi uttered “filthy language” from outside her chamber for rejecting bail application of one his clients.
Nayak also allegedly physically obstructed her way outside the Court building.
The Judicial Magistrate tried to pacify him by telling that the accused person had antecedents of criminal activities and he was entangled in two more cases. Hence, she had rejected the bail petition.
“According to us, sufficient materials are on records to take cognizance of criminal contempt committed by the Opposite Party. The act of the Opposite Party comes within the meaning of ‘criminal contempt’ as defined under Section-2(C) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. His conduct has not only scandalized the Judicial Magistrate but also interfered with the due course of the judicial proceeding. Further, he has tended to obstruct the process of administration of justice”, the division bench ordered on 1 November
“Accordingly, the cognizance is taken under Section-15(2) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. Issue is notice asking the Opposite Party as to why the charge for committing criminal contempt shall not be framed against him or why he shall not be prosecuted or tried for the said criminal contempt or why such other order/orders as deemed fit in the interest of justice shall not be passed”, the bench directed.