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Contempt of Court by judges themselves ?

Started by AgarwalSA, March 10, 2013, 12:24:03 AM

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Section 2 (c) of COCA defines criminal contempt as:

(c) criminal contempt " means.........or the doing of any other act whatsoever which-

(i) scandalises or tends to scandalise, or lowers or tends to lower the authority of, any court; or

(ii) prejudices, or interferes or tends to interfere with, the due course of any judicial proceeding; or

(iii)interferes or tends to interfere with, or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the administration of justice in any other manner

Section 16 of COCA says as follows:

Contempt by judge, magistrate or other person acting  judicially.

(1) Subject to the provisions of any law for the time being in force, a judge, magistrate or other person acting judicially shall also be liable for contempt of his own court or of any other court in  the same manner as any other individual is liable and the provisions of this Act shall, so far as may be, apply accordingly.

(2) Nothing in this section shall apply to any observations or remarks made by a judge, magistrate or other person acting judicially, regarding a subordinate court in an appeal or revision pending before such judge, magistrate or other person against the order or judgment of the subordinate court.

There must be some cases in which judges, or other judicial officers, themselves have been coming in the way of administration of justice, scandalizing or lowering the authority of Courts or Tribunals.

Any judicial precedents on Section 16 of COCA or any cases where such instances have come up before Courts ?


(i) Only a Judge of a subordinate court can be said to have committed contempt of his own court i.e. the court in which such judge is presiding; Harish Chandra v.S. Ali Ahmed, 1987 Cr LJ 320 (Pat).

(ii) A judge can foul judicial administration by misdemeanors while engaged in the exercise of the functions of a Judge; Baradakanta v. The Registrar, Orissa High Court, AIR 1974 SC 710.

(iii) The Magistrates should be conscious of their heavy responsibilities and should not act in a manner prejudicial to the litigants; B.N. Choudhary v.S.M. Singh, 1967 Cr LJ 1141 (Pat).