1. The respondent in this case is an advocate of this Court practising at Anantapur. He was appearing in C.C. No. 46 of 1952 on the file of the Stationary Sub-Magistrate's Court of Kalyndrug, the complainant in this case. The case was heard on 8-4-1952. Apparently, there was considerable and heated controversy between the advocate and the Magistrate in the matter of recording depositions and also in regard to the Magistrate's attitude to the advocate when he was cross-examining. The case was next posted to 12-4-1952. It Is on this day that the incident occurred which has given rise to this case. The charge against the advocate was that on that day heaa
'hampered and embarrassed the administration of justice in that court while the presiding officer was engaged with cases of other advocates and parties that were present in the court at the time, by Indulging in language and expressions derogatory to the dignity of a court of justice, and that he thereby was guilty of (professional) misconduct.'
The words and expressions were specified, but It is not necessary to reproduce them as the learned District Judge who made the enquiry has found that it has not been established by direct evidence that the advocate uttered those words. The learned District Judge has, however found that the respondent did use expressions which emphatically suggested the inability of the Magistrate to take any action against him which he had on a previousoccasion threatened against him and that by his external attitude and behaviour the respondentasserted his ability to stand up against any threat ening attitude on the part of the Magistrate and created an atmosphere for an unpleasant scene in Court.
2. It is not necessary to discuss the evidence in any detail, because we think it is sufficient to refer to the written answer made by the respondent and to the statement which tie made at the enquiry to find out what even according to the respondent did happen on that day. The respondent admitted that on 12th April 1952 when he entered the court hall at about 11-30 a. m. another case was going on and the respondent spoke across the table to another advocate, Sri K.C. Subba Rao, in a voice which was obviously loud enough to be heard by the Magistrate, that it was becoming very difficult to get on in that court as the magistrate was threatening with action for contempt of court even for simple matters. The respondent was saying that advocates should seek some redress to retain their self-respect in court. The respondent also admitted that when the Magistrate hearing his conversation with Mr. Subba Rao asked him whether it was all about the court, the respondent said 'yes'.
3. There is enough in the evidence to show that the attitude of the respondent from the moment he entered the hall till the magistrate closed the court and went into his chambers never to come again that day was in the highest degree provocative. He was obviously nursing a grievance against the Magistrate ever since what had happened on 8-4-1952. When he entered the court hall, his case had not been called, another case was going on, and the respondent acted most improperly in carrying on a conversation with another advocate across the table loud enough to be heard by the Magistrate. The gravity of the offence is increased by the fact that the conversation concerned the Magistrate himself. The respondent's conduct in creating what must be described as a disturbance to the work of the court when another case was going on is certainly not consonant with high traditions of professional conduct. It is not as if there was a breeze between the advocate and the Magistrate during the conduct of his case. The evidence clearly leaves the impression on us that the advocate came into the hall prepared to make a scene. Whether he was justified in his grievance against the Magistrate or not it is absolutely immaterial for the purpose of this case. Even if he was, there were others and proper means of ventilating them. The respondent should not have indulged in a talk with a fellow advocate concerning the Magistrate during the progress of another case.
4. We do not agree with the learned District Judge that the respondent cannot be held to be guilty of any professional misconduct. If an advocate is guilty of conduct which is not becoming on the part of an advocate, he is to that extent guilty of professional misconduct. While we say this, we are also of the opinion that this case does not call for any severe punishment of the respondent. In the circumstances of this case, we think it sufficient if we warn the respondent that in future he should exercise more restraint in his talk and in his behaviour in court. Any repetition of similar conduct will be taken notice of more seriously than now.