Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has sentenced a lawyer to simple imprisonment for a week in a 13-year-old case of contempt of court wherein he abused a trial court judge and threw a notebook towards him. The contempt petition seeking action against the lawyer, Ramchandra Kagne, 55, was filed before the Aurangabad bench of the high court by a trial court judge.
A bench of Justices T V Nalawade and Vibha Kankanwadi sentenced Kagne to jail for a week and also imposed a fine of Rs 2,000 on him last Friday. The court held that interference in the administration of justice, particularly by a lawyer, could not be tolerated. The incident took place in October 2005 when Kagne was present before the then district and sessions judge Ashok Bilolikar at Parbhani in Maharashtra, representing an accused in a rape case.
The judge had held the accused guilty, pronounced his conviction order in the open court, and invited all parties to argue on the sentence. When Kagne's turn for arguments came, he began shouting slogans against the judge.
As per the high court judgement, Kagne called the judge "foolish," asked him to refrain from awarding the sentence, and then snatched the stenographer's notebook and threw it towards judge Bilolikar. The notebook hit the additional public prosecutor present in the court room.
Judge Bilolikar warned Kagne to maintain decorum but the latter continued with his tirade, the HC judgement noted. "This is definitely an act of scandalising and obstruction in the administration of justice," the HC said.
"Interference in the administration of justice by giving threats, snatching the steno diary, addressing the judicial officer in a loud voice, are definitely serious, more so when done by an advocate, who is an officer of the court," the court observed.
Kagne, however, submitted before the court that he was being harassed because he frequently sent "complaints against some judges to the President of India". But, the high court bench rejected the argument.
"Definitely it was his duty to represent his client but when the client (the accused), who was facing trial was being punished by the court of law, then he should have accepted the sentence. If at all anything was to be agitated, it should have been through the principles of law," the bench said.