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Ram NaraIn Shukla and anr. Vs. J.O. Gyanpur and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1965CriLJ268
AppellantRam NaraIn Shukla and anr.
RespondentJ.O. Gyanpur and anr.
Excerpt:
- - this is as it should be, for the judicial process, like the great caravan in the persian pro-verb, proceeds and passes on without taking notice of occasional barking here and there......referred to us under order of the acting chief justice. we have been asked to consider whether ram narain shukla, who has appeared before us in person, should be proceeded against for contempt of court. it appears that in an application under section 561-a of the cr. p. c. he alleged that our learned brother s. k. verma who had heard some matter involving ram narain shukla was prejudiced against him and he did not want his case to be heard by him. he further alleged that an order passed by our brother verma on 13th january 1964 was 'not free from malice'. this application was heard and dismissed by d. s. mathur, j. on 16th january 1964. in the order dismissing the application the learned judge observed that the applicant had cast aspersions on mr. justice verma and it should be.....
Judgment:

S.S. Dhavan, J.

1. This matter has been referred to us under order of the Acting Chief Justice. We have been asked to consider whether Ram Narain Shukla, who has appeared before us in person, should be proceeded against for contempt of Court. It appears that in an application under Section 561-A of the Cr. P. C. he alleged that our learned brother S. K. Verma who had heard some matter involving Ram Narain Shukla was prejudiced against him and he did not want his case to be heard by him. He further alleged that an order passed by our brother Verma on 13th January 1964 was 'not free from malice'. This application was heard and dismissed by D. S. Mathur, J. on 16th January 1964. In the order dismissing the application the learned Judge observed that the applicant had cast aspersions on Mr. Justice Verma and it should be considered whether he should be punished for contempt. Accordingly the papers were laid before the Acting Chief Justice who has directed that the case be listed before us.

2. We have perused the application and its supporting affidavit and also heard Ram Narain Shukla. We do not think that his allegation in paragraph 5 of the application (paragraph 6 of the affidavit) that 'Hon'ble Justice S. K. Verma is prejudiced against the applicant' can be regarded in any way as amounting to contempt of Court. Whenever a litigant states that he apprehands that a particular Judge is prejudiced against him the Court has only to consider whether his apprehension is justified or not. If it comes to the conclusion that it is, the Judge will release the case; on the other hand if he thinks that the apprehensions are baseless,, he will take no notice of the allegation of prejudice against him. But no question of contempt arises when a litigint expresses his apprehension that he will not get justice from a particular Judge on the ground that he is prejudiced against him. A litigant has a right to state his apprehensions provided they are expressed in proper language. Therefore though it is manifest that the allegation of prejudice is without any basis, we do not think it constitutes contemut.

3. But Ram Narain Shukla went further and alleged in paragraph 11 of his application (paragraph 12 of the affidavit) that the decision given by our brother Verma on 13-1-1964 was 'not free from malice'. This is a serious, and on the face of it, a disgraceful allegation, to make against any Judge of this Court. We asked Ram Narain Shukla to explain what he meant by the word 'malice'. We gathered from the way in which he talked that he is not sufficiently familiar with the English language. Explaining the word 'malice' he said that on a particular occasion he was snubbed by the learned Judge and from this he gathered that he was angry with him (Ram Narain Shukia). We asked him who had drafted the application and the affidavit and he replied that he had done it himself with the aid of the previous papers and then given it to sonic cleric of an Advocate to get it typed, but we are inclined to suspect that they were drafted by a lawyer or his clerk. However lie assured us that he did not have any intention to attack the motives of learned Judge but only expressed his own apprehensions that he had annoyed the Judge and caused him to be prejudiced against him. He tendered an unqualified apology and asked to be forgiven for the use of this word. He asked for permission to withdraw the offending phrase from the application and the affidavit.

4. In these circumstances we feel certain that our learned brother Verma, had this matter been placed before him, would have taken an indulgent view of Shukla's conduct and considered It beneath. his dignity to proceed against him. Judges of this Court have to deal with all kinds of litigants who appear in person, but their discipline and Judicial training enables them to take no notice of occasional lapses on the part of a litigant who appears in person without any counsel to guide him. It is said of a Judge of the High Court in England who was trying an accused charged with a serious crime that when the accused discharged a volley of abuse in answer to the usual question from the clerk of the Court whether he pleaded guilty or not guilty, he treated the abusive words as a plea of not guilty and directed the trial to proceed. A similar attitude-of calm dignity was maintained by their Lordships of the Privy Council in the Shamdasani case when the appellant, arguing in person, asked for a review of a previous decision and made improper insinuations against the members of the bench which had rejected his appeal. They observed,

The case is at an end, and the appellant's case has been finally disposed of. It might, in the circumstances, be considered necessary to make a reference to a series of observations made by the appellant; but the Board thinks that the most dignified course is to take no notice of the observations so unfounded and so unworthy of being addressed to it.

(The incident is reported In 1946 Ali LJ Journal Section at p. 83). These and many other incidents in Courts show that judges remain unmoved by small incidents and ignore lapses of language and decorum by litigants appearing before them In person. This is as it should be, for the judicial process, like the great caravan in the Persian pro-verb, proceeds and passes on without taking notice of occasional barking here and there. We think that we should adopt a similar attitude of indulgence, particularly when Ram Narain Shukla has tendered an apology. We direct that no notice of contempt need be issued to the applicant.


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