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What is contempt of court?

The term contempt of court is easily understood when we disrespect or disobey the law court which means we intentionally fail to obey the court order or disrespect the legal authority.  The judge then has the right to impose a ban, such as a fine, or if he is found guilty of contempt of court, he can be sent to prison for a specified period. 

  The term “contempt of court” is a general term describing conduct related to special procedures in the courts of law that weakens the system or prevents citizens from using it to resolve their disputes.  This definition was given by Lord Diplock.

  This term is also understood in the case of the independence of the limitations of judicial activity.  Since we know that all judges in the courts can give judicial proceedings which have a certain limit within which there is the freedom to conduct any judicial proceedings and anything that hinders or stops the conduct of judicial proceedings may necessarily amount to court contempt.

  The concept of contempt of court in India is defined in Section 2 (a) of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971, which defines it as civil contempt or criminal contempt.

  There are two articles in the Constitution of India which deal with contempt of court and they are Article 129 and Article 142 (2).

History of Investigation in India-

  The Sanyal Committee report discusses the historical aspects of the Prevention Act in India.  This committee is responsible for initiating the process of amending this Act.  Like many other laws, the law of contempt was brought from English law and law, but this law was not taken from English law derived from other sources.  How did the domestic development of the law of contempt? It is understood through the system of antiquity that the courts or assemblies were guarded in our earlier era.

  There was no statutory provision for contempt of court in India till 1952, but after the introduction of the Contempt of Court Act in 1952, statutory provisions for contempt of court have been established in India.  This law extends to all of India except Jammu and Kashmir.  This law empowers the High Court to punish contempt of court.  This Act repeals the existing Court of Law Act, 1926, which is prevalent in the State.  Although this law was spread all over the Bangladesh.  Surprisingly, even though these laws were introduced earlier, these laws do not define the word “severity” and there was still a lot of ambiguity surrounding the law of contempt.  We have to deal with this law in the light of the two fundamental rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution and these rights are

  1) Freedom of speech and expression.

  2) The right to personal liberty.

  A bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha to bring about any change or strengthen the existing law on contempt.  After the government verified the bill, it determined the need to reform the existing law.  So, they have formed a special committee to look into the matter or inspect the existing law.  This committee was established in 1961 under the chairmanship of HN Sanyal and gave its report on 28th February 1963.  The report of this committee took the form of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971.  Methods and Enforcement of Law Enforcement Before this, the Contempt of Court Act of 1926 and 1952 had made several changes through the Contempt of Court Act of 1971.  The law distinguishes ‘contempt of court’ from criminal and civil contempt by their definition, respectively.  The matter was not mentioned in the previous existing court.

The need for contempt of court-

  If a person has to prove that another person is guilty of committing a crime, that is a crime in a law court.  He must then show the court that the offense committed by the other meets the requirements for the execution of that law or not.  If its requirements are met, he will be responsible for that work.  Similarly, there are specific exceptions to each offense that must be met for the individual to be held accountable for the act.  There are also some requirements for contempt of court and they are as follows:

  Disobedience of any kind of court proceedings, its orders, judgments, decrees, etc. should be done ‘intentionally’ in case of civil inquiry.

  ‘Publication’ is the most important issue in criminal contempt and this publication can be said either verbally or in writing, or through words, symbols, or visual representations.

  The court should have a ‘valid order’ and this order should be in the “knowledge” of the respondent.

  The work of the critics should be intentional and this too should ignore the court order.

  These requirements must be met when the court charges someone.

  Types of contempt of court in India-

  • Civil contempt
  • Criminal contempt

  Civil contempt-

  Section 2 (a) of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971 defines civil contamination as intentional disobedience of an order, decree, instruction, judgment, or writ by a person or intentional action by a person given by the court.  Since civil competition deprives a party for which it was ordered, these are essential crimes of a personal nature.  In other words, the person who is entitled to the benefit of the court order, this mistake is usually made with this person.

  Criminal contempt-

  Section 2 (c) of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971 defines a criminal license (i) by word, word or writing, or gesture, or by signs or by visual representation or (ii) enacting any law which includes  :

  A) propensity for scandal or scandal, or diminishes or tends to diminish the authority of a court, or

  B) bias, interference or interference or propensity for any kind of judicial action, or or

  C) In any way hinders or interferes with the administration of justice.

Contempt proceeding

The two sections of the Court Contempt Act, 1971 deal with the procedure relating to the presumption process.  Discusses proceedings before a record court and other discussions about executives other than the records court.

  The court has dealt with the procedure relating to the contempt proceedings in the face of the court record in Article 14 of the Contempt, whereas Article 15 of this Act deals with the process of contempt of court outside the record.

  These courts of record have instinctively been given the power to punish for his contempt.  Thus, these courts of record can deal with the issue of content by creating their procedures.  The only observation in the exercise of the jurisdiction of contempt recorded by the court is that the procedure adopted must be fair and reasonable so that the accused opponent should be given full opportunity to defend himself.  If the specific charge against the person convicted of contempt is clearly stated and he is given a reasonable opportunity to respond to the charge and defend himself, he will be liable for contempt of court and the court will conduct a case against him.  Where a person accused of contempt under this section applies orally or in writing to speak out against him, a judge other than the judge or magistrate who has been present or has heard the contempt hearing and the court is allowed to use the opinion necessary in the interest of justice  Apparently, this opinion will transfer the matter before the judge as the Chief Justice may consider it appropriate and appropriate in the circumstances of the case or present it before the Chief Justice with a statement of the truth of the case.

  Contempt committed outside the court

  Criminal investigations rather than organized out-of-court civil contempt have been dealt with under Section 15 (1) of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971, with criminal records notices by court records such as the Supreme Court and the High Court.  The Supreme Court and the High Court may adopt the following etiquette to investigate criminal investigations:

  At record court speed.

  In the context of the motion of the Advocate General of the Supreme Court and the High Court.

  If any person moves forward in writing with the consent of the Advocate General.

  If the law officer is concerned with the High Court relating to the Union Territory of Delhi as the central law is to take this proposal forward.  Then it can be considered as contempt of court.

  Section 15 (2) of this Act states that the High Court may, in the criminal contempt of the lower court, take certain action in the manner prescribed by this Act.

Conclusion –

The existing role regarding the former recognition of the lower court is unsatisfactory and confusing in India.  The disadvantages of this case are the product of the overlap of powers under the Indian Penal Code, the contempt of court law, and the contempt of power of the Supreme Court and the High Court under the Indian Constitution.  The scenario is further complicated by the inconsistent interpretation to be followed by the Supreme Court and the High Court on various provisions under the Indian Penal Code in the Judiciary and Exclusion section of the Contempt of Court Act.  Not only should the high court be given the power to deal with contempt, but the lower court should also be given this power.  From the point of view of the judges, if the court is contemptuous, the higher judicial authorities seem to be good, but from the point of view of the common man, it comes down to its bad effects.

By Moumita Muhuri,

3rd year of Shyambazar Law College.

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