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Retd. Lt. Col. Bhimrao Raghunath Karandikar Vs. Advocate Madhukar Yeshwant Joshi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Writ Petition No. 372 of 1982
Judge
Reported in1983(2)BomCR558
ActsConstitution of India - Article 227; Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1973 - Sections 482; Indian Penal Code (IPC) - Sections 34, 120B, 193, 200, 201 and 219; Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 - Sections 2 and 18
AppellantRetd. Lt. Col. Bhimrao Raghunath Karandikar
RespondentAdvocate Madhukar Yeshwant Joshi and ors.
Appellant AdvocateParty-in-person
Respondent AdvocateA.M. Joshi, Adv. for Respondent No. 1, ;P.P. Hudilikar, P.P., for respondent No. 2-State of Maharashtra, ;Rustam M. Bhagalia, Adv. respondent No. 3-in-person, ;V.V. Kamat and ;S.S. Deshmukh, Advs. for
Excerpt:
.....made against judges of the high court in respect of a judgment which the contemner made a subject-matter of a criminal complaint filed before a lower judicial officer like the magistrate are bound to have adverse effect on the due administration of justice and inevitable effect of under minding the confidence of the public in judiciary which amounts to gross contempt of court. 4 and 5 very well knew by experience, that any fraudulent statement of rather any illegal observation made by them or any statement criminal in nature, were to be made by a judge in his judgment becomes the law of the land and thus they have the shield of a protector with his robes and a great traditional name of being just, honourable, conscientious, truthful and what not, so the fraud becomes a very holy..........has to say in the following words :---''the accused no. 10 is the public prosecutor in the matter. accused nos. 1 and 2 say in their judgment at page 4 that the accused nos. 10 h.a. solkar appearing in this matter, has fairly conceded. well what has he conceded? he has conceded to be a part of the conspiracy machine.'for the reasons aforesaid, we unhesitatingly held the contemner guilty of criminal content of court within the meaning of section 2(c)(i) and (iii) of the contempt of courts act, 1971, and convict him accordingly.9. having thus held him guilty of the gross contempt of court we proceed to consider the question of punishment to be inflicted on the contemner. we have noticed from the facts mentioned in the writ petition which are not specifically denied by the contemner.....
Judgment:

H.H. Kantharia, J.

1. The petitioner, retired Lt. Col. Bhimrao Raghunath Karandikar, a resident of Pune, filed the present petition under section 482, of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 and under Article 227 of the Constitution of India for quashing a complaint in Criminal Case No. 324 of 1982 pending disposal in the Court of the Judicial Magistrate, First Class (Anti-Corruption), Pune. Respondent No. 1 is a practising Advocate Madhukar Yeshwant Joshi of Pune. He is the complainant in the said Criminal Case No. 324 of 1982. Respondent No. 2 is the State of Maharashtra. Respondent Nos. 3 to 10 were impleaded as parties on an application made for and on behalf of the petitioner. It will be proper for convenience's sake to describe their status and involvement in this matter at this stage. Respondent No. 3 is an Advocate Rustom Bhagalia, normally practising at Bombay. He represented respondent No. 5 Vinay Karandikar, son of the petitioner, in Criminal Application No. 1087 of 1980, in this Court about which we shall advert little later. Respondent No. 4 Mrs. Shakuntala Karandikar is the mother of respondent No. 5 and wife of the petitioner. Respondents Nos. 6, 7 and 8, V.A. Mohite, G.H. Peshave and R.S More are Advocates who constituted a disciplinary committee of the Bar Council of Maharashtra to inquire into certain misconduct on the part of respondent No. 1. Respondent No. 9 H.A. Solkar is the Public Prosecutor for the State of Maharashtra who represented the State in Criminal Application No. 1087 of 1980, in this Court and respondent No. 10 is the Bar Council of Maharashtra, Bombay.

2. The facts and circumstances in so far as they are relevant are that respondent No. 5 Vinay Karandikar had filed Criminal Application No. 1087 of 1980, in this Court under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India for quashing the proceedings pending against him in Juvenile case No. 140 of 1971, in the Juvenile Court, Pune. Respondent No. 1 here was also the respondent No. 1 in Criminal Application No. 1087 of 1980, as he was the complainant in the Pune Court. The Criminal Application No. 1087 of 1980, was disposed of by an oral judgment dated 3rd July, 1981, by a Division Bench of this Court comprising Rege and Mehta, JJ., in favour of respondent No. 5. Respondent No. 1 felt aggrieved by the said judgment but instead of approaching the Supreme Court he thought it fit to file a criminal complaint vide Criminal Case No. 324 of 1982, against Mr. Justice Rege and Mr. Justice Mehta along with Advocate Rustom Bhagalla, the present petitioner and his wife Shakuntala and son Vinay, Advocates V.A. Mohite, G.H. Peshave and R.S. More Public Prosecutor H.A. Solkar and members of the Maharashtra Bar Council charging them for offences punishable under section 219 (Public servant in judicial proceeding corruptly making report, etc. contrary to law), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender), 200 (Using as true such declaration knowing it to be false), 193 (Punishment for false Evidence), 120-B (Punishment for criminal conspiracy) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. We do not think it necessary to give details of the averments made in that complaint. Suffice it to say here that according to respondent No. 1 it was purely on account of conspiracy amongst all the accused persons that Criminal Application No. 1087 of 1980, came to be decided in favour of respondent No. 5. According to the petitioner the complaint in question was based on no material, was mala fide and disclose no case at all for proceedings against two High Court Judges and others. He, therefore, filed the present petition, inter alia, praying for quashing the proceeding in Criminal Case No. 324 of 1982, and for issuing a notice to respondent No. 1 to show cause why action under Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, should not be taken against him.

3. This petition came up for hearing before the Single Judge (S.J. Deshpande, J.) who was of the opinion that wild and baseless allegations were made in the complaint against two sitting Judges of this Court. Therefore, by a speaking order dated 13th October, 1982 , he directed issue of notice of contempt of Court to respondent No. 1. Regard being had to the conduct of respondent No. 1 in often remaining absent from this Court, Deshpande J., also directed issue of bailable warrant in sum of Rs. 500/- against him with further directions that the matter be placed before the Division Bench for hearing the contempt proceedings. Accordingly a show cause notice was issued to respondent No. 1. It was received by respondent No. 1 on 25-11-1982. After the contempt proceedings came to be placed before us for disposal according to law, the learned Chief Justice directed that the original Criminal Writ Petition No. 372 of 1982, for quashing the criminal proceeding pending in the Pune Court, as stated above, be also heard and disposed of by this Bench. Under the circumstances, we are disposing of Criminal Writ Petition No. 372 of 1982, alongwith contempt proceedings by this common judgment.

4. Now, respondent No. 1 filed an application dated 25-7-1983, raising preliminary objections in the matter of quashing the criminal proceedings. Firstly, his objection is that the writ petition was drafted, written and constructed by respondent No. 3 Advocate Rustom Bhagalia which was illegal and against the principles of justice. Thus, according to him, the presentation of the writ petition was not correct. It is true that this writ petition was presented by Advocate Bhagalia who, it is permitted to note, withdrew his appearance much before the hearing of the matter began in this Court. In fact, presentation of the writ petition by Advocate Bhagalia on behalf of the petitioner does not appear to us to be incorrect in any way but even if such presentation is considered incorrect it can only be termed as an irregularity which was cured the moment Advocate Bhagalia withdrew his appearance. In fact, Advocate Bhagalia is now respondent No. 3 in the matter. It may also be noted that after Advocate Bhagalia withdrew his appearance the petitioner himself conducted of his matter. Therefore, there is no substance in this contention of respondent No. 1. Secondly, he contended that petition suffers from infirmity for non-joinder of necessary parties who were the accused persons in Criminal Case No. 324 of 1982 , and therefore, the writ petition is not maintainable. This contention appears to be relating to the non-joining of the two sitting Judges of the High Court who were arrayed as accused Nos. 1 and 2 in Criminal Case No. 324 of 1982. We do not think that it is necessary to join the said Judges as necessary parties in the matter of quashing the original proceedings. This Court has inherent jurisdiction under section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 which can be exercised for quashing proceedings in a proper case with a view to prevent the abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to Secure the ends of Justice Madhu Limaye v. State of Maharashtra, : 1978CriLJ165 , the Supreme Court held :

''Apart from the revisional power, the High Court possessed and possesses the inherent powers to be exercised ex debito justitiae to do the real and the substantial justice for the administration for which courts exits.'

Notwithstanding the non-joinder of Mr. Justice Rege and Mr. Justice Mehta as parties in this petition we are empowered to exercise the inherent jurisdiction vested in the High Court to secure ends of justice. Thereafter, respondent No. 1, contended that the writ petition filed under Article 227 of the Constitution could be tried only by a Single Judges of this Court under the Appellate Side Rules and that the Division Bench has no jurisdiction to hear such a matter. It is true that a petition under Article 227 of the Constitution should be heard by a Single Judge but the learned Chief Justice has administratively transferred Criminal Writ Petition No. 327 of 1982, regarding the quashing of the criminal proceedings to this Bench for hearing and disposal by his order dated 10-8-1983. Hence, we are empowered to here and dispose it of according to law.

5. The petitioner and the learned Counsel appearing on behalf of various respondents and Mr. Bhagalia took us through the entire complaint in Criminal Case No. 324 of 1982, and we are flabbergasted to notice that there is not even an iota of material to indicate disclosure of any offence whatsoever committed by any of the persons arraigned as accused therein. We fail to understand how it can ever be said that the two sitting Judges of this Court commit offences as alleged just because they wrote a judgment in Application No. 1087 of 1980. It is no use repeating the various wild and baseless allegations made against them and other in the said complaint but suffice here to say that according to respondent No. 1 (complainant in Criminal Case No. 324 of 1982), Mr. Justice Rege and Mr. Justice Mehta disposed of Criminal Application No. 1087 of 1980, in favour of respondent No. 5 Vinay Karandikar not on merits but in league with and in conspiracy of the other accused persons, being influenced by the great charm and beauty of respondent No. 4 Mrs. Shakuntala Karandikar. The decision according to him was fraudulent and it was successfully engineered by conspirators with common object and aim to help out the Karandikar. The allegations against Public Prosecutor H.A. Solkar are that he conceded certain facts as a part of conspiracy and he had no right to do so. It is important to note that all sorts of irrelevant and wholly unconnected matters and incidents which seem to be figments of imagination of respondent No. 1 were introduced in the lengthy complaint which makes no sense at all. The complaint is a specimen of jumbling of random thoughts of respondent No. 1 which have no bearing whatsoever to the offences punishable under sections 219, 201, 200, 193, 120-B and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. We perused the compliant very carefully and are unable to find any material whatsoever for any criminal charge against any of the persons accused therein. It is worthwhile to note here that in Criminal Application No. 1087 of 1980 a rule was issued but respondent No. 1 neither filed his appearance or chose to appear in person nor did he engage any Advocate, though served. He also neither filed any reply by way of rebuttal nor any affidavit and did not place even written submissions on record to petitioner's contentions therein. After the decision, he did not bother to approach the Supreme Court and thought it wise to make all sorts of baseless, reckless and mischievous allegation against two sitting Judges of this Court and others who were connected with that matter with whatever capacity. If he really, felt aggrieved by the judgment passed by the Division Bench on 3-7-1981 he could have taken the matter to the Supreme Court. He is an Advocate of sufficient standing and should know that. It is also not under stood how a criminal complaint could be filed in a Court at Pune when admittedly Criminal Application No. 1087 of 1980, was heard in Bombay and disposed of by this Court. This clearly shows the malicious attitude of respondent No. 1 against the two sitting Judges of the High Court and others who are indicated as accused persons by him on various imaginary charges enumerated in his complaint. We strongly believe that the criminal compliant as filed by respondent No. 1 against the Judges of this Court and others is thoroughly frivolous and vexatious and devoid of any merits whatsoever. We have therefore, absolutely no hesitation in quashing the proceeding in the said Criminal Case No. 324 of 1982, pending disposal in the Court of the Judicial Magistrate, First Class ( Anti - Corruption), Pune. We order accordingly.

6. As regards the contempt proceedings, respondent No. 1-Contemner filed his say by way of an affidavit on 14-2-1983. it is blissfully silent on the merits of the matter beyond saying that it is false. However, it appears from this document that according to him Disciplinary Case No. 112 of 1981, was initiated by him before Bar Council of Maharashtra disciplinary committee No. 49 from where it has gone to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Bar Council of India. The matter is yet to be decided by the Bar Council of India from where it can be taken to the Supreme Court. Any one who interferes with the said matter runs the risk of committing contempt of Bar Council of India and the Supreme Court, he contended. This Court has, therefore, no jurisdiction to deal with or touch upon the matter pending before the Bar Council of India under the provisions of Advocates Act the Contemner further stated. It may be noted here that during the course of his arguments the contemner filed an application on 26-7-1983, raising similar contentions. So long as these concerned it is not quite clear as to what proceedings he had initiated in the Bar Council. However, it appears that while disposing of Criminal Application No. 1087 of 1980, the Division Bench had directed a copy of their judgment to be sent to the Bar Council of Maharashtra for appropriate action, if thought necessary. We are told at the Bar that, therefore, the Bar Council of Maharashtra had instituted disciplinary proceedings against the contemner. Be that as it may, the present contempt proceedings have nothing to do with any disciplinary proceedings, pending either with the Bar Council of Maharashtra or with the Bar Council of India. This Court is in no way interfering with the jurisdiction vested in either the Bar Council of Maharashtra or the Bar Council of India with regard to the disciplinary proceedings taken by or against the contemner. The contempt proceedings are governed by the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, and the jurisdiction thereunder rests exclusively with a Division Bench of the High Court as envisaged in section 18 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. The Bar Council has no jurisdiction under the Advocates Act, 1961, to take up and deal with any contempt proceedings. We, therefore, find no substance in this point made by the contemner.

7. Now, a bare perusal of the complaint in Criminal Case No. 324 of 1982, shows that highly contemptuous, defamatory, baseless and mischievous allegations are made therein against two sitting Judges of this Court as under :---

(i) ''What was the knowledge of accused Nos. 1 and 2 in respect of the matter, what responsibilities they had, what falsehoods they relied upon, what their conduct was as Judges, whether it was contrary to law, what kinds of pronouncements, orders, verdicts they have given and why they have gone out of the way to make a report to the Bar Council.'

(ii) ''It is true that the Judges are granted immunity, even though we all know that power without responsibility has always been the prerogative of harlots, and even though the Judges are granted Power and Immunity, they are not to use it as harlots use it.''

(iii) ''They could see that Judges can falsely say and write anything. Well they therefore, became bold in their design and they got ready persons to conspire and become co-conspirators to help them in the design. Accused No. 5 is a very intelligent and charming woman and she is at present telling the story in the cross-examination.''

(iv) ''Accused Nos. 1 and 2 have fabricated or rather invented an event which is not fact. It is fraud practised in open Court simply because the object of the conspiracy could be achieved, on this stepping stones.''

(v) ''This again is the invention of the accused Nos. 1 and 2, on which accused No. 2 has stepped up to achieve their goal to make their pronouncements and have declared falsely what is not the case. This is contrary to Law, barbarous, corrupt and malicious.''

(vi) ''..........it appears, the logic of men is passion and that is the only thing that exhibits itself from the aforesaid observations. The charm of a woman seems to be sound logic as other sensual things. Of course Mrs. Karandikar is a charming woman, a dancer, an actress and she has infallible charms but they can not guide the course of intellect and justice. The observations of the Judge, on page 10, only shows the savageness of reason and power of passion at once suddenly aggressive and sensual.''

From these irresponsible, reckless, malicious and false allegations made against two sitting Judges of the High Court it is crystal clear that the act of the contemner. In writing these paragraphs in his complaint was calculated to obstruct or has an intrinsic tendency to interfere with the course of Justice and the due administration of law. This was a scurrilous attack on two individual judges of his Court and it pertains to a case decided by them. The accusations question their character and ability as Judges. This scandalization has a tendency to offend the majesty of law and undermines the dignity of Court. Such conduct on the part of the contemner has inherent tendency to create mistrust in the minds of the members of the public at large and it impairs confidence of common men in the law courts which are of utmost important to them in the matter of protection of their rights and liberties. These malicious and flagrant accusations made against two sitting Judges of the High Court are per se defamatory and contemptuous. They are calculated to bring into disrespect and disrepute the entire judiciary in general and the two Judges in particular. These allegation are palpably false and the complaint read as a whole constitutes contempt of the High Court and its judicial officers. Such false allegations made against Judges of the High Court in respect of a judgment which the contemner made a subject-matter of a criminal complaint filed before a lower Judicial Officer like the Magistrate are bound to have adverse effect on the due administration of justice and inevitable effect of under minding the confidence of the public in judiciary which amounts to gross contempt of Court.

8. We have pointed out as above some of the paragraphs from the complaint on which the notice of contempt of Court was based and served on the contemner. But there are number of other wild allegations in the said complaint such as :---

'Accused Nos. 4 and 5 very well knew by experience, that any fraudulent statement of rather any illegal observation made by them or any statement criminal in nature, were to be made by a Judge in his judgment becomes the Law of the land and thus they have the shield of a protector with his robes and a great traditional name of being just, honourable, conscientious, truthful and what not, so the fraud becomes a very holy statement and still people ordinarily consider the statements that come in the judgment, as sanguine truths.''

The contemner has also something to say against another Judge of this Court that :

''Criminal Revision Application No. 203 of 1976, was disposed off by Jahagirdar, J., on 17th July, 1978, holding that the application was barred by the Law of Limitation. This statement is false, fraudulent, and a deliberate lie, and a fabrication of a document to achieve the end of the conspiracy.''

Then the contemner stated against Rege, and Mehta, JJ.,

''If the accused Nos. 1 and 2 were to see the record and if they were to call it from the lower Court, they could have seen it with their own eyes, but being blinded, it appears, and being out to comment a crime they have made a pronouncement, which is not only unlawful, but criminal.''

Further he stated :

''The accused Nos. 1 and 2 have simply imagined things and they went on using the knowledge of the English language, by making use of a positive, a comparative and a superlative, quite unconcerned with any record, truth and causing disaster to morality, and function. The conduct is devoid of all sense of morality and responsibility.'

Lastly, he attached Rege and Mehta, JJ., by stating :

''It appears from the judgment delivery by accused Nos. 1 and 2 that the points regarding punishment and misconduct have already been determined finally by the accused Nos. 1 and 2 that the person concerned was only sent to the hangman for being hanged by pulling a rope which is already pulled by the unseen hands of the accused Nos. 1 and 2.''

Against Public Prosecutor H.A. Solkar the contemner has to say in the following words :---

''The accused No. 10 is the Public Prosecutor in the matter. Accused Nos. 1 and 2 say in their judgment at page 4 that the accused Nos. 10 H.A. Solkar appearing in this matter, has fairly conceded. Well what has he conceded? He has conceded to be a part of the conspiracy machine.'

For the reasons aforesaid, we unhesitatingly held the contemner guilty of criminal content of Court within the meaning of section 2(c)(i) and (iii) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, and convict him accordingly.

9. Having thus held him guilty of the gross contempt of Court we proceed to consider the question of punishment to be inflicted on the contemner. We have noticed from the facts mentioned in the writ petition which are not specifically denied by the contemner that he seems to be in the habit of levelling all kind of false, frivolous and malicious allegations against the judicial Officers. Thus the record shows that he had slandered Additional Sessions Judge, Behere, Judicial Magistrate. First Class, Wagholikar, Assistant Judge Gursahani, Additional District Magistrate, Deodhar and Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Satonkar who had at some time or the other worked as Judicial Officers at Pune where the contemner resides and has been practising as an Advocate. His conduct in this Court in this proceeding before us was equally shabby and devoid of dignity, decorum and discipline in his manner of address and general behaviour. He was always in a defiant mood. In fact, at one stage he threatened us that if we proceeded with this matter he would take contempt proceeding against us in the Supreme Court. He made all attempts to obstruct the smooth hearing of this matter and tried his utmost to protect the present proceedings. It is important to note that the contemner at no stage of these proceedings was apologetic and showed no remorse or repentance whatsoever for his reckless and malicious allegations against the Judges of this Court. His attitude, to put in the words of the Supreme Court is like :

''He is not fighting in the cause of justice. He has become an enemy of the courts because certain decisions given by them are not to his liking. 'I will leave you alone, if you decide in my favour. I will charge you of corruption if you dare to decide against me.' : 1983CriLJ1102

National Textile Workers Union v. P.R. Ramakrishnan and others.

The contemner before us has lived by law and lives by law but he seems to have not learnt to stand by law. He is a law unto himself in the matter of scandalizing Judicial Officers. He forgets that he is a member of the noble profession of law and that he owes a duty to maintaining the dignity of Judicial Officers and the judiciary as a whole. We find that he has intentionally carried on a warfare against the Judges of this Court and the members of the lower judiciary. Regard being had to all these facts and circumstances, the petitioner and respondent No. 3 and the learned Counsel appearing on behalf of other respondents vehemently urged that the contemner should be visited with maximum punishment provided in the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. Giving our anxious thoughts to these submissions made at the Bar and the circumstance obtaining in this case, though we are in agreement with the views expressed at the Bar, we feel that ends of justice would meet if we inflict little hard punishment on the contemner. In the result, under section 12(1) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, we punish him simple imprisonment for a term of 3 months and to pay a fine of Rs. 2,000/-, in default further simple imprisonment for one month. The contemner is also ordered to pay the quantified costs to the parties as under :---

(1) Rs. 500/- to the petitioner and respondent Nos. 4 and 5 together;

(2) Rs. 250/- to respondent Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 10 together;

(3) Rs. 150/- each to respondent No. 3 and respondent No. 9.

Warrant of arrest against the contemner be issued immediately and he be taken in custody to serve out the sentence imposed upon him. Rule is made absolute accordingly.


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