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The judgments of the Court open to discussions and critical analysis”: Punjab and Haryana HC in a contempt of courts case

Last Updated on July 4, 2024 by News Desk

Recently, in a contempt of court case, Punjab and Haryana high court said that judgements of court are open to public for discussions and criticism, as a mark of democracy.

“The judgments of the Court are in public domain and open to discussions and critical analysis. Judges are not super humans and do commit mistakes,” the Court said.

A Bench of Justices Anupinder Singh Grewal and Kirti Singh was hearing the contempt proceedings against a person named Surjeet Singh, initiated in 2023.

Brief facts of the case were that Surjeet Singh, aggrieved by the delay in disposal of his case, approached High court claiming that he was facing harassment at hands of a judicial magistrate due to repeated adjournments. He said that the “magistrate was not inclined to decide the case due to which he has been harassed by the actions of the magistrate”. 

The single judge of the High court noted that adjournments were sought mostly by the counsel representing Surjeet Singh, and therefore issued show cause notice to him for making allegations against the magistrate.

The Court in November 2023 initiated criminal contempt proceedings against him. 

The division bench agreed to the fact that Surjeet should have pleaded the facts in consonance with the record. However it said that his action would not amount to contempt of court. 

“The dockets of the Courts are clogged and often cases are not decided speedily or as speedily as expected by the litigant. The respondent appears to be a hapless citizen who is awaiting justice at the portals of the District Court and in these circumstances he appears to have transgressed by not setting out the correct factual backdrop. However, we do not find that the action of the respondent would amount to contempt of Court.” court said.

It also noted that pleadings in the petition filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C. do not suggest that they are malafide or not in good faith. “The pleadings could have been better worded but it is difficult to arrive at the conclusion that they were malafide. The respondent was only seeking expeditious disposal of his case” it said.

Lastly, the court opined that the judges should not be oversensitive to the pleadings of the citizens as it would deter an ordinary citizen to approach the Court for redressal of his grievance.

Thus, the court held that action of the respondent does not constitute criminal contempt and dropped the said proceedings.

[Court on its Own Motion v. Surjeet Singh]

Written by Shagun Behal  

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