Effort To Hold Judiciary To Ransom’ : SC Sentences 3 Contemners To 3 Months Imprisonment For Scandalous Allegations Against Judges

Case Title: RE: VIJAY KURLE & ORS.
SUO MOTU CONTEMPT PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO. 2 OF 2019

On April 27, the Court had held them – Vijay Kurle(State President, Maharashtra & Goa, Indian Bar Association), Rashid Khan Pathan (National Secretary Human Rights Security Council) & Nilesh Ojha (National President, Indian Bar Association) – guilty of criminal contempt under Contempt of Courts Act.

The bench comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose took the up the matter on May 4 for hearing on sentence. Meanwhile, one of the contemners, Nilesh Ojha, filed an application seeking recusal of Justice Deepak Gupta stating that he was in a “hurry” to decide the matter. This application was dismissed.

The bench noted that in the recall applications, the correctness of the judgment was questioned on many grounds.”There is not an iota of remorse or any semblance of apology on behalf of the contemners. Since they have not argued on sentence, we have to decide the sentence without assistance of the contemners. In view of the scurrilous and scandalous¬† allegations leveled against the judges of this Court and no remorse being shown by any of the contemners we are of the considered view that they cannot be let off leniently”, the bench observed.

The Court also noted that it had held in the judgment that “the complaints were sent by the contemners with a view to intimidate the Judges who were yet to hear Shri Nedumpara (Advocate Mathews Nedumpara) on the question of punishment, so that no action against Shri Nedumpara is taken”.

Hence, they were sentenced to three months simple imprisonment and a fine of Rs 2000 each. The Court clarified that the sentence would come into effect after COVID-19 lockdown.

By Priyanka of SPPU