|COURT:||Bombay High Court|
|CORAM:||S. J. Kathawallla J|
|SECTION(S):||Contempt of Courts Act|
|CATCH WORDS:||contempt of court, strictures|
|COUNSEL:||Mathew Nedumpara, Sharan Jagtiani|
|DATE:||March 5, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)|
|DATE:||March 13, 2018 (Date of publication)|
|FILE:||Click here to download the file in pdf format|
|Certain Advocates have forgotten the code of eithcs. They facilitate the unethical misadventures of their clients, encouraging their clients' dishonest practices, causing grave stress to the Judiciary, and bringing the entire judicial system to disrepute. It has become a vicious and despicable cycle wherein dishonest litigants with malafide intentions seek out unethical Advocates, who for hefty fee and the lure of attracting similar new and unscrupulous clients, choose to disregard all ethics and the code of conduct enjoined upon this august profession|
1. At this point of time, the Judiciary is mired in challenges of a very grave nature, perhaps like never before. It is being observed that there is, amongst some litigants and their Advocates, virtually no fear or hesitation in making false statements and misrepresentations before the Court, which should under any and all circumstances be dealt with the iron hand of the judiciary with zero tolerance for such blatantly unethical and mala-fide behaviour.
2. The dignity and respect of the Court along with its prescribed procedures is being unabashedly violated by certain litigants who are using foul and unfair means to demean and denounce the august Judiciary by making frivolous and baseless allegations against the Judges, and/or their opponents and their Advocates, with a view to rescind and back-track on solemn undertakings and statements earlier made in Court. This malicious modus operandi of certain dishonest litigants is absolutely unacceptable, as it seeks to subvert the very foundations of justice that the Judiciary is committed to uphold. With no merit in their case, and in a bid to avert an unfavourable order being passed against them, such dishonest litigants collude with their Advocates to use underhanded means to ensure favourable orders and their consequent success in litigation instituted or defended by them.
3. Certain Advocates sadly seem to have forgotten the code of eithcs that enjoins upon all Advocates, that they are Officers of the Court first and Advocates of their clients only thereafter. It is anguishing to note that such Advocates facilitate the unethical misadventures of their clients, often encouraging their clients’ dishonest practices, causing grave stress to the Judiciary, and unfortunately bringing the entire judicial system to disrepute. It has become a vicious and despicable cycle wherein dishonest litigants with malafide intentions seek out unethical Advocates, who for hefty fee and the lure of attracting similar new and unscrupulous clients, conveniently choose to disregard and/or forget all ethics and the code of conduct enjoined upon this august profession. It is with a heavy heart, that Courts at times note that clients have no hesitation in replacing good and honest Advocates, with unscrupulous ones, who go to any dishonest lengths, merely to secure favourable orders for their clients.
4. The present case and the conduct of the Defendant No. 1 / Applicant strongly affirms the aforesaid observations. The Defendant No.1 Shri Vilas Chandrakant Gaokar had through out the hearing of his case, remained present and appeared before the Court with his Counsel as well as the Advocate on record. He took the assistance of this Court in resolving his issues pertaining to the Suit, gave undertakings in pursuance of it, obtained consent orders and also acted in consonance with the same. However, Defendant No.1 breached one of the undertaking given by him and being fully aware of the consequences thereof, he craftily and quickly changed his Advocates (who had already been previously changed) and briefed Counsel Mr. Mathew Nedumparra, who in turn advised him to file this Notice of Motion. In this Notice of Motion, he has stated that all the previous orders passed by this Court are null and void for reasons which are utterly false and dishonest to the knowledge of his client Shri Vilas Chandrakant Gaokar.
5. This malicious and mala-fide Notice of Motion sets out/alleges totally baseless and contemptible allegations against this Court, which are completely unacceptable and are a mere shenanigan to circumvent the action of contempt of Court. This reprehensible attempt at intimidating and manipulating this Court into not taking any action under the Law of Contempt calls for censure in the strongest terms. In an attempt to cover up the mala-fide intent, which is crystal clear and amply evident, the litigant Shri Vilas Chandrakant Gaokar dishonestly/falsely reiterates in the Application that he holds the Court in the highest esteem and respects its integrity. It will not be out of place to mention here that in an earlier matter before me, in which Mr. Mathew Nedumpurra appeared for one of the parties, he, after repeatedly reiterating that he holds the Court in the highest esteem and respects its integrity, had proceeded to pray that I recuse myself from all the matters in which he appears. That Application was, however, rejected by a detailed Judgment dated 23rd December, 2014, reported in 2015(2) Bom.C.R.247.
6. Therefore, such unethical and unacceptable behaviour needs to be met with the iron hand of the Court. The Courts must tackle all such unethical conduct fearlessly by taking stern action against litigants, and if need be their unethical Advocates as well. A failure to do so, will result in seriously jeopardising the Judiciary and will erode the Rule of Law, which is absolutely integral to the justice system in the country. The Courts must act swiftly and firmly, without getting intimidated by false and frivolous charges, and utterly baseless, malicious and dishonest allegations that are levelled against the Judges.
This is a path breaking judgement. If we want the noble profession of law to be held in high esteem, such actions should be more frequent. In a number of cases, I myself felt that Ld Judge is aware of the lies which the litigant is making in the open court but choose to ignore for the reason best known to them. Now the time has come when this profession should get it’s rightful place to which majority of it’s members deserve.