Karnataka HC Has Initiated A Contempt Of Court Case Against A Lawyer Who Shouted At Judge And Threw Files In The Courtroom

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A single bench of Justice KS Hemalekha of Karnataka High Court has initiated a contempt of court case against a lawyer who shouted at judge and threw files in the courtroom subsequent to the rejection of an application submitted on behalf of his client.

The bench said “The act and conduct of the advocate tends to undermine the dignity of the Court and hinders the due course of judicial proceedings or administration of justice. The cumulative acts of the advocate would amount to undermine the dignity and majesty of the Court apart from interference with the court’s normal proceedings and procedures”.

The contentious incident transpired following the Court’s dismissal of an application lodged by Annadurai, the petitioner, seeking to contest a caveat plea submitted by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).

The contentious incident transpired following the Court’s dismissal of an application lodged by Annadurai, the petitioner, seeking to contest a caveat plea submitted by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).

BEL had lodged a caveat petition through its General Manager (HR) to receive notification of any legal actions initiated by the petitioner against the company. However, the petitioner raised concerns regarding the authority of the GM (HR) or the caveator in filing the caveat petition on behalf of BEL. On the same day, the High Court dismissed the petitioner’s application, imposing a penalty of Rs 10,000 payable to the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority within four weeks.

Subsequently, the Court directed the petitioner’s attorney to present arguments on the substantive dispute. In response, the lawyer reportedly raised his voice, flung case files, and expressed dissatisfaction with the dismissal of the application, prompting reproach from the Court.

The Court had observed instances of discourteous conduct from the lawyer on multiple occasions, although his arrogance had been previously overlooked, and his presence accommodated during prior Court appearances.

Consequently, the bench determined that these behaviors justified commencing contempt of court proceedings against the lawyer in question, Advocate M. Veerbhadraiah.

The bench cited the following instances of objectionable conduct by the advocate:

“(i) Misbehavior: Throwing his files ghastly in dismay after rejection of IA 1/2022;

(ii) Arrogance: Using singular language towards the Bench with a directive voice and in spite of the Court warning him to mind his behaviour, he mentioned “least bothered of the consequences” and left the Court in sheer anger throwing the files.

(iii) Backtalk: Talking in loud voice and refusing to argue the matter on merits despite repetitive request from the Court as the matter was argued on merits before hearing I.A.No. 1/2022.

(iv) Violation of Court Rules: Constantly interrupting the Court proceedings while the Court was passing orders.”

Justice Hemalekha noted in her order that the lawyer’s behavior, which included disrespectful remarks towards the Court, was unacceptable.

Consequently, the bnche instructed the Registrar (Judicial) of the High Court to take necessary actions to initiate suo motu criminal contempt proceedings against advocate M Veerabhadraiah under Section 2(c) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.

Justice Hemalakha further directed that her ruling be presented to the Chief Justice of the High Court for appropriate directives.

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