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Prag Das Vs. P.C. Agarwal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1975CriLJ659
AppellantPrag Das
RespondentP.C. Agarwal and ors.
Excerpt:
- - the lawyer applicant got the impression that the guard was called to turn him out of the court room so that the court would be free to pass any order in the case it liked......has explained the circumstances and has given his own version, in paragraph 8 of his affidavit the learned munsif has sworn as follows:that the averments made in paragraphs 15, 16 and 17 of the affidavit, do not disclose a full and correct picture of what transpired in the court of the deponent on 20-5-72. it is admitted that sri prag das advocate appeared before the deponent on that day in the case, anand kumar jain v. girdftiari lai for the opposite party. from the very start of the hearing of the case shri prag das advocate adopted a very unreasonable and threatening attitude by bumping his files on the table, shouting at the court and using derogatory words for the court in loud voice to his clients. in view of the fact that sri prag das had abused the deponent on 18-5-72 the.....
Judgment:
K.B. Asthana, J.

1. This is an application by an Advocate of Buland-shahr charging Sri P, C. Agarwal, Mun-sif, Bulandshahr, for having committed contempt of his own Court. The application supported by an affidavit is to some extent prolix. Paragraphs 15 to 18 of the application appear to contain the main allegation. They are reproduced below:

15. That since after the aforesaid case dated 18th May 1972 the applicant only appeared before opposite party on 20-5-72 in another case under Section 7-C of the U.P. Rent Control and Eviction Act (Anand Kumar Jain v, Girdhari Lai), and it was called a first case and the applicant while entered m the Court along with Mahesh Chandra the pairokar of Girdhari Lai for whom the applicant was appearing the opposite party shouted in Court (when?) there was none else than the opposite party, his Reader. Peons, Sri Rajendra Pal Gupta counsel Anand Kumar Jain with his client,, Court Moharrir and one more sitting on the Chair and thus there was no occasion to call the guard except to harass or insult the applicant. It was Saturday, the day of Civil Misc. cases and no criminal case was fixed before him on the day.

16. That on this the applicant was astonished and smelling danger slipped out of the Court to gave his dignity and self respect and immediately went to the Court of Sri Akhtar Hussain, the District Judge and reported the matter to him and submitted a written complaint to the said effect on being asked by the District Judge and with a note the District Judge sent the said complaint to the opposite party and asked the applicant to go and appear in his Court.

17. That accordingly the applicant again reached the Court of opposite party within about five minutes of his leaving Court and in the way found the Police Guard coming out of the Court and when he entered the Court he found that not only the slip of District Judge had reached to him. but he passed orders in the aforesaid case adverse to the interest of the client of the applicant.

18. That the aforesaid conduct of the opposite party insulting the applicant by calling the Guards and insulting the applicant and creating a situation to force him to go out of the Court in order to enable him to pass an order of his choice amounts to lower the authority of his own Court and interference with the due course of judicial proceeding and obstruct the justice and thereby he committed the contempt of his own Court, and he is liable to be punished under Section 12/16 of the Contempt of Courts Act 1972 read with Article 215 of the Constitution of India.

In a counter-affidavit the Munsif concerned has explained the circumstances and has given his own version, In paragraph 8 of his affidavit the learned Munsif has sworn as follows:

That the averments made in paragraphs 15, 16 and 17 of the affidavit, do not disclose a full and correct picture of what transpired in the Court of the deponent on 20-5-72. It is admitted that Sri Prag Das Advocate appeared before the deponent on that day in the case, Anand Kumar Jain v. Girdftiari Lai for the Opposite party. From the very start of the hearing of the case Shri Prag Das Advocate adopted a very unreasonable and threatening attitude by bumping his files on the table, shouting at the Court and using derogatory words for the Court in loud voice to his clients. In view of the fact that Sri Prag Das had abused the deponent on 18-5-72 the deponent apprehending further trouble thought it advisable to summon the guard to be in attendance to prevent any untoward incident and preserve the digity of the Court. At this stage Sri Prag Das left the Court. The deponent waited for some time and even asked the client of Sri Prag Das several tunes to call the learned counsel. When Sri Prag Das did not come, the deponent allowed the application permitting the tenant to deposit rent under Section 7-C of the U.P. Rent Control and Eviction Act 1947. Thereafter, the deponent received a note from the learned District Judge to submit a report on an application presented by Sri Prag Das before the learned District Judge. The deponent sent his report immediately. It is wrong to say that the deponent summoned the guard to harass or insult Sri Prag Das. After about an hour and a half Sri Prag Das Advocate again came in the Court of the deponent, took 'the file of the aforesaid case from the reader to see the order and thereafter went away and nothing further happened.

2. It is clear from the allegations and the counter-allegations that calling of a guard in the Court room led to the controversy. The lawyer applicant got the impression that the guard was called to turn him out of the Court room so that the Court would be free to pass any order in the case it liked. On the other hand, the learned Munsif called the guard as he was apprehensive of the lawyer himself. Whatever be the truth, the fact remains that the guard was called but mere calling of the guard by the Court per se would not amount, in our judgment, to committing of contempt. Certainly, if a Court in a proceeding before it calls the police guard to turn out a lawyer from the Court room, without any justification it would be contemptuous. Likewise, if a counsel exceeds his bounds and intimidates a Court in order to obtain orders favourable to his client, and brings external agencies in the Court to create an atmosphere of oppression, in those circumstances he would be guilty of contempt. Thus to establish contempt it would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case as to for what purpose was the guard called. Even if we assume for a moment that the learned Munsif called the guard with a view to protect himself and the guard could have manhandled the lawyer concerned that alone would not amount to contempt unless untowards events happened but nothing happened as the applicant lawyer says in his affidavit that in order to avoid an embarrassing position he quietly slipped out of the Court-room. The learned Munsif called the guard for the reasons given in his affidavit. The lawyer applicant's version is based on his impression as he thought that it was to see him out of the Court that the guard was called for by the learned Munsif. It was urged by the learned counsel for the applicant that in the background of the incidents which had earlier happened between the lawyer, applicant and the learned Munsif concerned in other cases, the only motive behind the purpose for calling the guard was to gag the lawyer applicant and to insult him. Having read the affidavit and the counter-affidavit, we do not agree that a situation of hostility between the lawyer applicant and the learned Munsif concerned had reached such a stage that each was at daggers drawn against the other and ready to Insult and abuse at the mere sight of each other. This is what has been attempted by the applicant in his application to establish. That is why we have observed above that much prolix matter has been introduced in this case. The applicant has even gone so far as to be critical of the policy of appointing Munsifs directly from the University. Everybody is entitled to his own way of thinking but that is hardly relevant for making out a case of contempt. The lawyer applicant concerned, Sri Prag Das, appears to be senior lawyer as he was the President of the Collecto-rate Bar Association of Bulandshahr. The learned Munsif is, no doubt, a new entrant to the service. He may be wanting in maturity and may have created an impression of taking decisions without deeper considerations. It certainly did not become a lawyer of the standing of the present applicant to make remarks against the learned Munsif which were not concerned with the incident narrated in paragraphs 16 to 18.

3. It was submitted on behalf of the applicant that this Court should examine witnesses in order to find the truth there being oath against oath. We do not think it is a case of that gravity and seriousness that this Court should devote its further time. Steps in contempt should only be taken, when there is real and grave danger which may result in the obstruction of justice or result in scandalizing the Court. Incidents of high temper giving rise to misunderstandings are not uncommon, between the members of the Bar and the Bench. It behoves both the Bench and the Bar who are equal partners in the administration of justice to act with restraint and circumspection and bear with incidents which arise because of short temper or misunderstandings. No man whether he be a lawyer or a Judge can be said to be ideally noble so as always to keep equanimity and patience under every kind of provocation. To us, it appears that there has been some misunderstanding between the lawyer applicant Sri Prag Das and the new entrant in service Sri P. C. Agarwal. We do not think a case is made out for taking action.

4. We discharge the notice.


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