New Delhi: Advocates using abusive language against a Judge would have to serve a prison term of three months for the contempt of court. Rejecting the plea of advocate Vishram Singh here on Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld the sentence of three-month prison term for abusing a Judicial Magistrate in Etawah 14 years ago.

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A bench of justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar dismissed the appeal of advocate Vishram Singh Raghubanshi who on July 25, 1998, is alleged to have produced one Om Prakash for surrender, impersonating him as Ram Kishan S/o Ashrafi Lal who was wanted in a criminal case, in the court of IInd ACJM in Etawah.

However, when the Judge put certain questions to the counsel on the bonafides of his claim, the advocate is said to have climbed up to the podium and abused him in filthy language in front of the entire gathering.

The Allahabad High Court, after initiating contempt proceedings, sentenced the advocate to three months simple imprisonment with a fine of Rs.2,000, following which he appealed in the Apex Court.

Dismissing the appeal, the bench said, "The dangerous trend of making false allegations against judicial officers and humiliating them requires to be curbed with heavy hands, otherwise the judicial system itself would collapse.”

"The bench and the Bar have to avoid unwarranted situations on trivial issues that hamper the cause of justice and are in the interest of none," Justice Chauhan, writing the judgement, said.

"The courts certainly cannot be intimidated to seek favourable orders. The appellant intimidated the presiding officer of the court, hurling filthiest abuses and lowered the
authority of the court, which is tantamount to interfere with the due course of judicial proceedings.”

"The charge which stood proved against the appellant could not be taken lightly and in such a fact-situation, the apology tendered by him, being not bona fide, was not acceptable.”

"In order to protect the administration of public justice, we must take action as his conduct and utterances cannot be ignored or pardoned. The appellant had no business to overawe the court," the Apex Court said.

The bench said under no circumstances, such a person can be permitted to become the law unto himself as it would put the very existence of the system of administration of
justice at a stake.

"The contemnor abused the judge in most filthy words unworthy of mouthing by an ordinary person and there was no justification for him to ascend the dais during the course of the proceedings and then abusing the judicial officer," the bench said.

"Thus, it is apparent that the contempt jurisdiction is to uphold the majesty and dignity of the law courts and the image of such majesty in the minds of the public cannot be allowed to be distorted," the bench said.

Noting that the advocate had tendered an apology several years after the incident, the Apex Court said he cannot be pardoned as the expression of regret was a mere ploy to avoid punishment.

It said any action taken on contempt or punishment enforced is aimed at protection of the freedom of individuals and orderly and equal administration of laws and not for the purpose of providing immunity from criticism to the judges.

The bench said any deliberate attempt to scandalise the court, which would shake the confidence of the litigating public in the system, would cause a very serious damage to the
institution of judiciary.

JPN/Bureau/Agencies