Madras High Court directs initiation of contempt against lawyer who allegedly circulated audio message against Justice M Dhandapani on WhatsApp The hearing today saw Justice Dhandapani narrate that the allegedly derogatory message was forwarded to him by a brother Judge on WhatsApp. Madras High Court directs initiation of contempt against lawyer who allegedly circulated audio message against Justice M Dhandapani on WhatsApp Justice M Dhandapani, Madras High Court Meera Emmanuel Published on : 18 Jun, 2021 , 4:33 pm The Madras High Court on Friday directed initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against a lawyer who is stated to have circulated a derogatory message against Justice M Dhandapani via WhatsApp. The hearing today saw Justice Dhandapani narrate that the allegedly derogatory message was forwarded to him by a brother Judge on WhatsApp.

[6/19, 08:34] Sekarreporter: [6/19, 08:29] Sekarreporter: https://twitter.com/sekarreporter1/status/1406084195638599680?s=1006
[6/19, 08:29] Sekarreporter: https://www.barandbench.com/news/litigation/madras-high-court-contempt-lawyer-audio-whatsapp
[6/19, 08:35] Sekarreporter: News
Columns
Dealstreet
Interviews
Apprentice Lawyer
Viewpoint
हिंदी
ಕನ್ನಡ

Litigation News
Madras High Court directs initiation of contempt against lawyer who allegedly circulated audio message against Justice M Dhandapani on WhatsApp
The hearing today saw Justice Dhandapani narrate that the allegedly derogatory message was forwarded to him by a brother Judge on WhatsApp.
Madras High Court directs initiation of contempt against lawyer who allegedly circulated audio message against Justice M Dhandapani on WhatsApp
Justice M Dhandapani, Madras High Court
Meera Emmanuel
Published on :
18 Jun, 2021 , 4:33 pm
The Madras High Court on Friday directed initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against a lawyer who is stated to have circulated a derogatory message against Justice M Dhandapani via WhatsApp.

The hearing today saw Justice Dhandapani narrate that the allegedly derogatory message was forwarded to him by a brother Judge on WhatsApp.

In the order passed today, the Court made the following remarks on the audio message in question:

“The audio proceeds on the footing that I have taken a stand, which denigrates and defames the entirety of the advocates. In fact, the said person had gone on to say that the way I had conducted the Court was unbecoming of a Judge and that I have not given opportunity to put forth the submissions by the parties. In fact, when the matter was placed before me, in view of the gravity of the act alleged by the prosecution against the petitioners herein, most especially in the trying times, I had impleaded the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu to spell out the mechanism devised by them in consonance with the various decisions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India for taking action against such of those advocates, who conduct themselves in an unruly fashion, thereby, denigrating and defaming the legal profession… The act of the advocate is very much contumacious and attracts initiation of criminal contempt proceedings. The whole audio paints a very gloomy picture and without any material aspersions are attributed against me. Neither have I passed any orders on the merits of the case, nor have I in any way defamed the advocates or the legal profession, yet, the advocate has gone on to state that I had not heard the arguments of the counsel and that I was in a predetermined mindset to decide the matter, which is nothing by imputing aspersions against me, though the said advocate was neither the counsel on record for the petitioner nor in any way connected with the said case.”
The Judge went on to observe that the Court will “not fall prey to such acts perpetrated by gossip mongers and unscrupulous elements, with a view to scuttle the judicial process and make the judiciary dance to their tunes.”

The Court recorded that the said lawyer had attributed malafides to the Judge in the audio message and opined that he should recuse from hearing the case. The audio purportedly also claims that the Judge has taken a lopsided view of the case and that the Judge was biased in the matter.

In the course of pronouncing the order, Justice Dhandapani also orally observed:

“His statement, I feel, it is a derogatory.. no one has a right to direct me to recuse from the case … It is impermissible, whether he is a member (of the High Court Bar Association) or not.”

He expressed concern that if the same is not addressed, then disgruntled litigants and policemen may also begin circulating such messages. A person claiming to be a Supreme Court lawyer ought to show more decency, the judge remarked.

He added that if the lawyer had any submissions to make, he could have very well joined the virtual court proceeding and made his case.

“The said Krishnamoorthy was a total stranger to the proceedings, yet he has made derogatory statements in the social media against my judicial functions, including seeking my recusal, which is nothing but interference with the administration of justice. If such an act is not nipped in the bud, it will send a wrong signal to the other persons to make scathing aspersions against the other Hon’ble Judges, which would impede the discharge of the judicial functions”, the order stated.

A direction was, therefore, issued to the Registry for the initiation of suo motu criminal contempt proceedings against Supreme Court advocate, R Krishnamoorthi by issuing a statutory notice.

After issuing the notice, the matter is to be placed before the Chief Justice for listing the criminal contempt proceedings before the appropriate Bench, the Court said.

Justice Dhandapani directed the same while allowing an anticipatory bail application moved by another lawyer and her daughter in a case registered by the police over an alleged COVID-19 lockdown violation (Tanuja Rajan @ Tanuja Kanthula and anr v. State).

Also Read
What action taken against advocates who misbehave? Madras High Court to Bar Council after lawyer’s tussle with police over lockdown violation
Video footage of a verbal altercation stated to have taken place between the lawyer and the police went viral online. In the circulated videos, the lawyer was seen without a mask, identifying herself as an advocate, asking the police personnel to behave and threatening to strip the officials off their uniforms. A lower court had dismissed the anticipatory bail plea moved by the lawyer and her daughter earlier this month.

The High Court today dismissed the anticipatory bail application in so far as it concerned the lawyer, who is the first applicant in the matter.

Her daughter’s plea was, however, allowed with the Court directing that she be released on bail upon her surrender within fifteen days.

Further, “in the larger interest of the legal fraternity”, the Court also directed the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu, in consultation with the Bar Council of India (BCI) to evolve a mechanism for initiating suo motu proceedings against those members who indulge in activities which are prejudicial or demeaning to the interest of legal fraternity as a whole.

Whereas advocate Haja Mohideen pointed out that such a mechanism already exists under Section 35 of the Advocates’ Act, 1960, Justice Dhandapani responded that the order passed today has also discussed this provision.

“If mechanism is available, leave it. If mechanism is not available, please frame the rules because, from Harish Uppal (case), Supreme Court has been issuing directions …to frame guidelines for some unruly advocates”, the Judge added.

[Read Order]
Attachment
PDF
Tanuja Rajan @ Tanuja Kanthula and anr v. State.pdf
Preview

Madras High CourtContemptWhatsappCriminal ContemptLockdownCOVID-19 LockdownderogatoryJustice M Dhandapani

Related Stories
Bar Council should use suo motu powers against lawyers who demean legal fraternity even if no complaint is made: Madras High Court
Bar Council should use suo motu powers against lawyers who demean legal fraternity even if no complaint is made: Madras High Court
Meera Emmanuel
50 minutes ago
Has the necessary medical staff been
posted? Uttarakhand High Court questions State government about its plan to reopen the Char Dham Yatra
Has the necessary medical staff been posted? Uttarakhand High Court questions State government about its plan to reopen the Char Dham Yatra
Khadija Khan
10 hours ago
[BREAKING] Delhi Police trace 16-year-old missing girl to Amritsar after Delhi High Court order to speed up probe
[BREAKING] Delhi Police trace 16-year-old missing girl to Amritsar after Delhi High Court order to speed up probe
Khadija Khan
11 hours ago
“Justice Kausik Chanda was active member of BJP:” Mamata Banerjee writes to Calcutta High Court Chief Justice to reassign her election petition
“Justice Kausik Chanda was active member of BJP:” Mamata Banerjee writes to Calcutta High Court Chief Justice to reassign her election petition
Bar & Bench
11 hours ago
Follow Us

Subscribe
barandbench
News
Interviews
Columns
Submission
Viewpoint
Dealstreet
Legal Jobs
WhatsApp Updates
Student Subscription
Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy
Contact Us
Careers
Advertise With Us
About Us
Student Subscription
Copyright © 2021 Bar and Bench. All Rights Reserved

Powered By Quintype

X

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Call Now ButtonCALL ME
WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com