AR. LAKSHMANAN, J.
1. The above Contempt Application has been filed by the Bar Association, Dharmapuri, through its President, to initiate contempt proceedings against the respondent and to punish him. The petition was filed on 22-7-1994. The affidavit filed in support of the above Contempt Application was filed by one K. Appunu Gounder, President of the Dharmapuri Bar Association (who also deposed as P.W. 1). According to the petitioner, the occurrence took place on 1-7-1994 and that the Venue was the District Munsif Court Hall at Dharmapuri. The complaint against the respondent is in regard to his unruly and un-courteous behaviour towards the Presiding Officer Mr. B. Ramalingam, who was examined as R.W. 2 on the side of the respondent. According to the petitioner, the respondent created a scene in Public Court, intercepted the Court proceedings by his unruly behaviour and shouted and waved his hands preventing the Presiding Officer from discharging his judicial function.
2. The short facts are, the District Munsif (R.W. 2) was conducting the judicial proceedings on 1-7-1994. After the commencement of the judicial proceedings, an Execution Petition filed by the respondent was called. In the Execution Petition, the respondent was represented by one Mr. M. Govindarajan, Advocate. One Mr. Sudha Mohan, Advocate (P.W. 2) made a representation on behalf of Mr. M. Govindarajan and prayed for time for filing counted After hearing the representation, the District Munsif adjourned the Execution Petition to 11-8-1994 for filing counter. Since the matter was adjourned ( sic (?) urgent), the respondent requested the Court to post the Execution Petition earlier than the date fixed by the Court by giving only a short date. Though the District Munsif explained the various administrative reasons, on the insistence of the respondent, the hearing date was advanced from 11-8-1994 to 1-8-1994. In spite of the fact that the hearing date was advanced, the respondent kept on shouting and waved his hands at the District Munsif. His voice was so loud that all the persons who were present in the Court were shocked and dumbfounded. The respondent continued to behave in an unruly manner. The Presiding Officer requested the respondent to show some authority to the effect that the ex parte order can be passed without giving opportunity to the respondent immediately after taking notice. In spite of the dignified request of the Court, the respondent started to behave authoritatively. He openly declared that he need not produce any authority to ABC persons like the Presiding Officer thereby meaning that the Presiding Officer is nobody before him. The deliberate continuance of the insult and unruly behaviour of the respondent shocked not only the advocates who were present in Court but also the staff and the general public. By the said behaviour, the respondent not only brought down the dignity, decorum, reputation and prestige of the Court but also indulged in insulting the Court. The members of the Bar Association who were present at the time tried to prevent the respondent from continuing his on-slaught and indecent behaviour.
3. According to the petitioner, when another Interlocutory Application, in which the respondent herein appears for the respondents therein, was called, the respondent demanded for an adjournment by three months for filing counter statement. The manner in which the representation was made by the respondent was to deliberately tease and irritate the Presiding Officer. When the Presiding Officer stated that the said application had to be disposed of early due to a direction in the same matter by the District Judge of Dharmapuri, and posted the said application to a nearer date, the respondent started shouting at the Presiding Officer. He started saying in a loud voice that he had no confidence or faith in the Presiding Officer. He insulted by saying that he will see to it that the case was transferred from the said Court to some other Court. The respondent continued his shouting and kept on arguing in an indecent and provocative manner. He did not let the Court to proceed further with the other cases by making continuous noise and uttering worthless and meaningless comments. He obstructed and stalled the judicial proceedings. He did not even respect the Presiding Officer even as a human being.
4. It is the case of the petitioner that the behaviour and conduct of the respondent has not only brought insult to the Court but also to the litigant public, Court staff and the advocates who were present. Since the scene which was witnessed was unbearable, the senior members of the Bar, who could not persuade the respondents to behave properly and keep up the decorum of the Court, requested the Presiding Officer to leave the Court Hall. The respondent started gesticulating and challenging the Court violently. He started saying that he is powerful and nobody can do anything against him. The unpleasant atmosphere was avoided in view of the retiring of the Presiding Officer to his Chambers on the request of the members of the Bar.
5. According to the petitioner, the respondent positively prevented the Presiding Officer from conducting the judicial proceedings, he also kept on threatening the Presiding Officer. His behaviour amounts to not only contempt of Court but also criminal offence, for which he is liable to be prosecuted. Since the respondent deliberately interfered with the course of administration, of justice, immediate action has to be initiated against him. It is further stated that the respondent by disrupting the normal functions of the Court, which was done by him even earlier, wasted the precious time of the Court. The respondent not only denigrated the Court but also lowered the dignity of the Court and the Bar.
6. The petitioner has also narrated an earlier incident that took place on 27-1-1993, when the respondent had openly abused the same Presiding Officer without due respect to the Court resulting in Bar passing a resolution expelling the respondent from the Bar Association. The misbehaviour and unruly action of the respondent has caused insult to the Judiciary and the Bar. The respondent has committed several offences under the Indian Penal Code and also under the Contempt of Courts Act and therefore, he is liable to be punished and if he is not punished, it will lead to encouragement to such behaviour by others, resulting in the Courts becoming ineffective to bring order in society. If the respondent goes unpunished, even the litigant public and the general public, who were witnessing the proceedings, will lose their faith in the judicial administration as well as Judiciary itself. Therefore, the members of the Bar demanded that immediate action should be initiated against the res
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ondent by the Presiding Officer or by the District Judge, Dharmapuri. Since nothing positive was done immediately, they have been boycotting the Court since it is the Bar which has to maintain and uphold the dignity of the Bar as well as the Judiciary. The petitioner states that this Court should initiate appropriate proceedings against the respondent not only for punishing him under the Contempt of Courts Act but also initiate appropriate criminal proceedings against him for contravening the various provisions of the Indian Penal Code. Hence the above petition.7. The respondent filed a counter affidavit together with Annexures, I to V and also some newspapers cuttings. The following are his averments in the counter affidavit. The Contempt Application is highly motivated and levelled in a spirit of vengeance out of professional jealousy and desperation. The entire members of the Bar Association, Dharmapuri, have joined together against the respondent and are bent upon to corner and subdue him since, for the past thirty years he refused to abide by and heed to their illegal requests and pressures in many matters. The present District Munsif Mr. B. Ramalingam had utilised the opportunity to axe and grind against him, joining hands with others since he had exposed not only his misdeeds but those of other judicial officers.8. According to the respondent, Mr. K. Appunu Gounder, who has fried the affidavit as the President of the Dharmapuri Bar Association, was not at all present in Court on 1-7-1994, the date of alleged occurrence. He is not at all aware of what had actually happened on that date in the Court. He has deliberately filed this false affidavit. On 1-7-1994, when the Execution Petition was called, time for counter was asked for by Mr. D. Sudha Mohan on behalf of Mr. M. Govindarajan, counsel for the defendant. The respondent objected to it and requested the Court for an order for delivery reminding the Court about the history of the case and the pathetic plight of the old lady/his client. However, the District Munsif adjourned the case to 11-8-1994 for counter giving a long date purposely. Again, the respondent pleaded that it was a long date and that at least short time may be given for counter and disposal as there was no scope for any enquiry at all in the matter. Ultimately, the hearing date was advanced to 1-8-1994 reducing just ten days after great reluctance. The matter was over and nothing happened.9. The respondent would submit that another case of the respondent in I.A. No. 817 of 1987 was called for enquiry wherein the respondent appeared for the respondents. There was no representation for the petitioners and since the respondent was not ready, he wanted three months' time. The District Munsif asked the respondent to file a petition for which the respondent replied that his steno will not be available then for preparing the petition and wanted time till next day. The Court observed that the case cannot be adjourned like that and directed that the respondent should file the petition at once, for which the respondent pleaded his inability.10. The following is the respondent's version as to what had happened at that time, which, according to the respondent, has been suppressed by the petitioner. When he was pleading with the Presiding Officer as abovesaid, Mr. D. Sudha Mohan, Advocate, who was unconnected with the above case in any way, interfered in the matter and told the Court that the time of all the other advocates was being wasted and that the Court is not there for the respondent alone, that he should not be allowed to take so much of time and that he should be curtailed whatever it be to avoid gallery attraction. Immediately, Mr. A.M. Sivanantham, counsel for the opposite party in the case against the respondent's junior advocate Mrs. B. Lalitha, referred to by the District Munsif in the earlier matter, came to the Court and abused the respondent in a most filthy language and vulgar words. The respondents is not able to express here those words out of decency. He shouted at the respondent in Tamil as follows: “Are you the only advocate here? Rascal! I will kick and beat you black and blue. The time has come to put an end to you. We will not keep quiet till your chapter is closed.” He went on scolding and shouting at the respondent in the most foul manner, for which the District Munsif was keeping mum without intervening. Then, he turned towards the D istrict Munsif and asked him to leave the Court and go to the Chambers proclaiming that he will deal with the respondent as challenged at any cost in the open Court itself. He then came towards the respondent to assault him physically, which was prevented. The District Munsif joyfully witnessing all these atrocities in the open Court quietly left the Court without a word at the command of the said advocate and obliged him so that he can deal with the respondent as he wanted. Everything came to a standstill to the shock of everybody in the Court.11. Later on, the members of the Bar convened an urgent meeting and directed the District Munsif not to come to the open Court until further intimation, which was readily accepted by him and without any hesitation. Some resolutions appear to have been passed. Then, they met the District Munsif in his Chambers. All the cases were adjourned and the further proceedings of the Court were stopped at their instance. The allegations in the affidavit of the petitioner and the District Munsif contra to the above are denied by the respondent as false and concocted. The members of the Bar demanded the District Munsif and the District Judge to initiate some kind of proceedings against the respondent, which appear to have been not fructified. They then observed indefinite strike and boycotted the Courts for 19 days, though threatened otherwise. According to the respondent, the above is the true and correct version of the incident that took place on 1-7-1994.12. The respondent would submit that during that time he was prevented from attending the Courts by the members of the Bar. They even attempted to assault him. On 5-7-1994, the respondent was physically driven out of the Court by the members of the Bar led by one Mr. Ramesh and Mr. Ratnam, junior advocates of Mr. P. Srinivasan and Mr. Devarajan, against whom serious cases are pending. No protection was given to the respondent either by the judicial officers of the district or by the police. But the respondent attended the Courts with the help of his clients.13. The respondent has denied the allegations contained in the affidavit of the petitioner as false. He denied the allegation that he continued to behave in an unruly manner. He also denied the allegation that he started to behave authoritatively. The allegations in paragraph 3 of the affidavit clearly show and prove that the deponent Mr. K. Appunu Gounder, the President of the Bar, was not at all present in the Court at that time on that date as asserted by the respondent in paragraph 4 of the counter affidavit. He is only a name lender. According to the respondent, the Presiding Officer left the Court abruptly at the command of Mr. A.M. Sivanandam, without transacting any business and without passing any order on I.A. No. 817 of 1987 at that time. Only later in the day, the petition was adjourned with the notes of the Presiding Officer as to what had happened. He denied the allegation that he started shouting at the Presiding Officer as if in a market, he further denied the allegation that he said in a loud voice that he had no confidence or faith in the Presiding Officer or insulted by saying that the case will be transferred in the manner and fashion as stated in the affidavit.14. The respondent would further aver in the counter statement that it is false to state that he did not let the court to proceed further with other cases. On the other hand, it is only Mr. A.M. Sivanandam and Mr. D. Sudha Mohan, who stopped all the works in the Court as detailed above. The respondent had denied that he obstructed and stalled the judicial proceedings. It is false to state that he gesticulated, challenged and said that he is powerful, etc. The Presiding Officer retired to the Chambers not because of the respondent but because of Mr. A.M. Sivanandam and Mr. D. Sudha Mohan only. The contention of the petitioner that he committed Contempt of Court and criminal offences is nothing but jugglery of words and there is no truth in it. The inner motive and the suppressed wish of the members of the petitioner are well exposed in as much as their intention is to doom the life of the respondent and spoil his future and nothing else.15. According to the respondent, he did not abuse the Presiding Officer but only asserted the lawful rights of his client. If really the respondent had done any wrong on 27-1-1993, as claimed, it is not known why no action was taken against him either by the Presiding Officer or by the Bar, the so-called guardian of the Judiciary. The resolutions passed by the Dharmapuri Bar Association are illegal. The respondent has been expelled not because of any misbehaviour or unruly action of the respondent but only because he was not able to adjust with the unlawful wishes, desires and demands of the Bar. The respondent denied that he committed several offences punishable under the Indian Penal Code and the Contempt of Courts Act. The requests of the petitioner in the prayer para are ill-founded and are liable to be rejected. There are no bona fides or truth in the application. The petition is liable to be dismissed.16. Along with the counter affidavit, the respondent filed Annexures I to V. Annexure I relates to the members of the Bar Association, Dharmapuri, and their motive against the respondent. Annexure II relates to the District Munsif Mr. B. Ramalingam and other judicial officers of Dharmapuri. Various instances have been stated in Annexure II. Annexure III gives the details of the false cases filed against the respondent so far by others. Annexure IV relates to the respondent's notable victory in the legal profession. In Annexure V. the respondent has furnished the details of cases filed by him against others. He has also enclosed along with the annexures some paper cuttings relating to various cases, etc.17. The President of the Dharmapuri Bar Association by name Mr. K. Appunu Gounder was examined as P.W. 1. Mr. Sudha Mohan, who has also filed a supporting affidavit along with others and who was present on the fateful day when the incident took place, was examined as P.W. 2. P.W. 3 Mr. A.M. Sivanandam is an advocate practicing at Dharmapuri. He is having 21 years of standing at the Bar. He was the Secretary of the Dharmapuri Bar Association from 1987 to 1994.18. The respondent, who has examined himself as R.W. 1 has stated that whatever he has stated in as his counter affidavit is true and it may be treated his deposition in chief-examination. Therefore, while recording his submission as above, we permitted the counsel for the petitioner to cross-examine the respondent on the basis of the contents of the counter affidavit filed by the respondent as his deposition in chief-examination.19. The respondent filed Sub Application No. 43 of 1995 to summon and examine Mr. B. Ramalingam, District Munsif, Dharmapuri, as his witness. The said application was ordered and Mr. B. Ramalingam, District Munsif, Dharmapuri, was examined as R.W. 2.20. On the side of the petitioner, Exs. P-1 to P-24 were marked. On the side of the respondent, Exs. R-1 to R-18 were marked. The resolution dated 1-7-1994 of the Bar Association, Dharmapuri, which was sent to the Chief Justice of the High Court, was marked as Ex. C-1 through the Assistant Registrar (Rules) of this Court. The said document Was marked by consent. Ex. C-2 is the memorandum of reference submitted to this Court under Section 15(2) of the Contempt of Courts Act by the District Munsif, Dharmapuri, against the respondent. The District Munsif prayed for an action to be initiated against the respondent for his intentional misbehaviour and for interfering with the due course of judicial proceedings and obstruting the administration of justice on 1-7-1994, which caused the boycotting of the Courts by the Dharmapuri Bar Association from 1-7-1994 indefinitely. Along with the said memorandum, 27 affidavits of the advocates who were present in the Court on the date of the occurrence were also enclosed. All the 27 affidavits filed by the 27 advocates narrated the incident which took place in open Court on 1-7-1994. They also furnished the details in regard to the occurrence that took place on that date. Ex. C-3 is the supporting affidavit of the District Munsif, Dharmapuri. Ex. C-4 is the letter dated 8-9-1994 sent by the District Munsif, Dharmapuri, to the Registrar of this Court, by way of his remarks as required in the Contempt Application. A copy of the memorandum of reference and the copy of the supporting affidavit were also annexed to Ex. C-4.21. We shall now proceed to consider the contentions raised by both parties with reference to the evidence on record, both oral and documentary.22. The only point that arises for consideration is whether the respondent, as alleged by the petitioner has deliberately irritated the Presiding Officer by his unruly misbehaviour, unbecoming of a Member of the Bar and by that behaviour obstructed and stalled the judicial proceedings and created an unpleasant atmosphere in the Court and by disrupting the normal functions of the Court, or whether the version of denial and disclaimer of the respondent that he has not indulged in any such misbehaviour, etc., is acceptable or not and if we come to the conclusion that there is every reason to believe that notwithstanding the respondent's denial and disclaimer, the contemner has undoubtedly tried to threaten the Presiding Officer stall the judicial proceedings and showed disrespect personally to the District Munsif, what would be the punishment that may be awarded to the respondent in the circumstances of the case.23. The petitioner to prove his case that the respondent has misbehaved in the Court hall with the Presiding Officer has examined the President of the Bar Association, Dharmapuri as P.W. 1. It is seen from his evidence that he has completed thirty two years of service and that he was elected as the President of the Bar Association in the year 1994 for a period of two years. It is his evidence that he was not present in Court at the time of the alleged occurrence. However, he came to know about the incident through the other members of the Bar, who were present in the Court Hall at that point. As seen earlier, he has filed the affidavits in support of the main contempt application. In his chief examination, he has narrated the incident that took place on 1-7-1994 in the Court hall. To a question, he has replied that he was informed by the other members of the Bar, who were present in the Court about the incident. He has also narrated another incident, which had happened on the very same day, when another Interlocutory Application was called, wherein the respondent was appearing for the respondent in that Interlocutory Application. He has also explained as to why the District Munsif refused to grant longer time and about the directions received by the District Munsif from the District Judge. He has also narrated the ‘exchange of words’ between the lawyers and the unruly behaviour on the part of the respondent. According to his evidence, he immediately convened a meeting of the Bar Association and unanimo usly passed a resolution, condemning the act of the respondent. A decision also was taken to boycott the Courts till the proceedings are initiated against the respondent and because of the complaint of misconduct on the part of the respondent, he was expelled from his membership. He has also stated in his evidence that the lawyers stayed away from Courts for one month, because the Authorities have not taken any action for one month and that therefore they decided to file the contempt application in this Court. In the cross1 examination, it is stated that the respondent was expelled in the year 1978 and he was readmitted because he tendered unconditional apology and for the second time, he was expelled on 27-1-1993. In the cross examination, nothing is elicited to discredit the averments made in the affidavit filed in support of the contempt application and the oral evidence tendered in chief examination with reference to the alleged incident that took place in the open Court on 1-7-1994. P.W. 2 Mrs. Sudha Mohan is an eye witness to the incident, which took place on 1-7-1994 in Court. He has also filed a supporting affidavit along with 26 others. It is his evidence that when the case was called he represented Mr. Govindarajan and requested time for filing counter affidavit and the Court, at his request adjourned the case to 11-8-1994 for filing counter affidavit and that immediately, the respondent shouted in a loud tone saying that a longer date should not be given, but a shorter date should be given. Thereafter, the Presiding Officer said that it was the first hearing date and therefore, he has given a longer date. But then, the Presiding Officer himself has advanced the date of hearing from 11-8-1994 to 1-8-1994. The respondent in a louder voice and in an authoritative tone shouted at the Presiding Officer and the Presiding Officer asked the respondent to show any authority as to how a case could be ordered without hearing the other party in the first posting date itself and without giving an opportunity for filing counter. The re spondent replied that he could not cite any authority for people like ‘ABC’. The respondent also shouted and threatened the Court that he would not allow any other case to go on - to be taken up without delivery being ordered in that case. At that time, there were about forty Advocates, besides the staff and the litigants, who had come for cases in Court hall. Even when the respondent was shouting like that, the next Interlocutory Application was called and the respondent, who was standing said that the Presiding Officer should give three months time in that case. The Presiding Officer, when wanted the respondent to mention the reason for an adjournment of three months, the respondent answered that he could not give any explanation for that. The Presiding Officer then Said that unless a petition, giving some reasons is filed, he could not adjourn the matter. Immediately the respondent said that he had no confidence in the Presiding Officer and he wanted the case transferred to some other Court. The Presiding Officer then said that he should file a petition atleast for that. The respondent asked for three days' time to file such a petition. When the Presiding Officer said that such a petition could be filed immediately, the respondent replied that he had no stenographer and he should go home, prepare the petition and then file it for which purpose, he required three days' time. When the Presiding Officer requested the respondent to speak in a calm tone, the respondent replied that he had seen several Officers like him and that nothing could be done to the respondent. When the situation got worsened, some of the senior Advocates requested the respondent to drop the matter then, so that the other proceedings could go on. As the respondent continued to speak in a loud and threatening tone, all the Advocates requested the District Munsif to retire to his Chambers. Thereafter, the members of the Bar Association approached their President and requested him to convene a meeting to take action against the respondent for his unruly behaviour in the open Court. Accordingly, a meeting was convened and a resolution was also passed. Copies of the resolution were sent to the District Munsif, Bar Counsil and the members of the Bar requested the Presiding Officer to take immediate action against the respondent for his misbehaviour. P.W. 2 also deposed in his evidence about the misbehaviour of the respondent on an earlier occasion, viz., on 27-1-1993 before the very same Presiding Officer. The evidence of P.W. 2 in regard to the earlier incident on 27-1-1993 can be noticed in order to appreciate the conduct and behaviour of the respondent in the open Court on the earlier occasion as well as in the present incident. The evidence is as follows:“In a similar occasion on 27-1-1993, the same respondent before the very same Presiding Officer said ‘If you would not pass orders as desired by me, I will not allow the other work to proceed. ‘Just because you have a pen in you hand, are you a big man?’, ‘because you are sitting above, you know everything?’ ‘just because I am standing below, I am not a fool.’ He addressed the Presiding Officer in the above terms in Tamil, without any respect and addressed him singularly . On that day also, several litigations were present. Immediately, on 28-1-1993, a meeting of the Bar Association was called for. We discussed the above in the meeting and we condemned the attitude of the respondent and we sent a show cause notice to him.”To a question asked by the Court, the witness mentioned that the correct date of the meeting was on 28-1-1993 and not on 27-1-1993. the witness (PW 2) is also a signatory to the resolution, dated 1-7-1994 and he has also identified the resolution in the minutes book (original) of the Bar Association, Dharmapuri, which was produced before this Court and marked as Ex. P1. The xerox copy of the resolution is also marked as Ex. P2. The witness identified his signature at page 16 of the minutes book, which is marked as Ex. P3. The witness further added that the Advocates boycotted the Courts pursuant to the resolution by insisting that action should be taken against the respondent and as no action was taken, they filed the contempt application. To a Court question whether the minutes book pertaining to the resolution, dated 28-1-1993 was available, the witness answered that the minutes book is available. The witness has also identified the resolution, dated 28-1-1993, which is at pages 142 to 146 under Ex. P4 Xerox copy of the resolution is marked as Ex. P5. P.W. 2 also has identified his signature at page 146, which is marked as Ex. P6. In the cross examination by the respondent, he could not elicit anything from PW2 to dislodge his evidence in chief and the averments made in the supporting affidavit. In fact, the witness was very firm and deposed that the respondent was threatening the Court. P.W. 2 has also denied many suggestions made by the respondent in the cross examination. He has specifically denied that he abused the respondent in a most filthy language and in vulgar words, as suggested by him. He has also denied the suggestion that right from 1978, the Members of the Bar have been trying to subdue him, corner him because they were not able to do anything and as a last resort, they have filed the present contempt application.24. P.W. 3, is an Advocate, practising at Dharmapuri and he is also a member of the Bar Association, Dharmapuri. He has been practising as an Advocate for the last twenty one years. He was the Secretary of the Bar Association from 1987 to 1994. He was also present at the time of the alleged incident in the Court hall itself on 1-7-1994. He has also deposed as to what had happened on 1-7-1994 in Court. His version and the version of P.W. 2 in regard to the incident that took place on 1-7-1994 - verbatim are the same, hence, his evidence in regard to the said incident which took place on 1-7-1994 is not extracted here. He is also a signatory to the resolution, Ex. P4 based by the Bar Association, Dharmapuri. He has also identified his signature at page 145 of Ex. P4 and his signature has been marked as Ex. P7. His signature in the xerox copy of the resolution, Ex. P5 is marked as Ex. P7A. He is also a signatory to the resolution passed on 1-7-1994, which is marked as Ex. P8. His signature in the Xerox copy, Ex. P2 is marked as Ex. P8A. Since the respondent did not give his explanation, as per the resolution, dated 28-1-1993, he was expelled from the Bar Association, as per the resolution, dated 15-3-1993. The resolution passed on that day is marked as Ex. P9, which is available at pages 152 and 153. The signature contained in Ex. P3 is marked as Ex. P9A. Xerox copy of the resolution is marked as Ex. P10. His signature in the xerox copy is marked as Ex. P10-A. P.W. 3 also speaks about the letter dated 12-6-1987 received from the District Munsif, Dharmapuri to the Bar Association, with reference to a bomb hoax in the Court building and the convening of the meeting of the Bar Association at 10.30 AM on that day. Since they did not want to ignore the threat, it was resolved to boycott the Court proceedings for a week and seek police assistance. On that day all the Judicial Officers and the Court staff came out of the Court premises. Even though the Police officials were informed they did not come for search for the bomb. But the respondent was insisting upon the Presiding Officer of the Court that his case should be taken up and he was making a persistent attempt to have his case taken up. The Bar Association issued a show cause notice as to why he should not be expelled from the Bar Association for his behaviour against the Bar Association. He did not choose to give any explanation even for that. Because of that, a resolution was passed on 6-7-1987, expelling the respondent from Dharmapuri Bar Association. The resolution was marked as Ex. P11 and the Xerox copy thereof is marked as Ex. P12 and the signature of P.W. 3 in Ex. P11 is marked as Ex. P12 and the signature of P.W. 3 in Ex. P11 is marked as Ex. P11A. The resolution, dated 6-7-1987 at pages 26 to 28 is marked as Ex. P13. Xerox copy thereof is marked as Ex. P14. P.W. 3's signature in Ex. P13 is marked as Ex. P13A. The respondent was re-admitted, after the receipt of the petition to the Bar Association from the respondent, tendering unconditional apology and requesting readmittance into the Bar Association condoning his past behaviour. That letter has been marked as Ex. P15. A resolution was also passed on that day. Accepting the unconditional apology tendered by the respondent, he was readmitted into the Bar Association. The said resolution is available at pages 39 and 40, which is marked as Ex. P16. Xerox copy thereof is marked as Ex. P17 and the signature of P.W. 3 in Ex. P16 is marked as Ex. P16A. On the very same day, the Bar Association passed a resolution, condemning the action of the police against the respondent. Therefore, the Office bearers of the Association met the District Police Officials and made a representation on behalf of the respondent. P.W. 3 was cross examined by the respondent. He said, in the cross examination that he came to Madras and gave instructions to Mr. Jayaraman, Advocate and he drafted the affidavit and sent it to Dharmapuri, where he signed it and presented. The said affidavit signed by P.W. 3 is marked as Ex. P18. P.W. 3 also has denied the suggestion that there are exaggerations and suppression of material facts in the said affidavit. He has also deposed that the respondent represented to the Presiding Officer in a threatening manner and in a loud voice, as though the respondent was directing the Presiding Officer to give a shorter date. To another question, the witness answered that the respondent has addressed the Court in singular form and also shouted in a threatening manner and in a louder voice. To a suggestion that the sentence written in ink in Tamil in para 12 of Ex. P15 is an interpolation, the witness answered that the sentence was there, when the respondent gave the petition. The said letter has been marked as Ex. P5. To another suggestion by the respondent that he had got a bitter grudge against the respondent because of the case of Mrs B. Lalitha, P.W. 3 denied the suggestion. P.W. 3 also has denied the suggestion that because of the said case, he had devoloped great enmity against the respondent personally P.W. 3 has also denied the suggestion that he scolded the respondent in a filthy language and in a most vulgar manner, as stated in paragraph 13 of the counter affidavit filed by the respondent. P.W. 3 has also stated that what is contained in paragraph 13 of the counter affidavit is partially correct. He has further denied the suggestion that he has signed the affidavit just mechanically without going through the entire allegations therein (Ex. P. 18). In Re-examination, P.W. 3 said that he could identify the respondent's handwritting in Ex. P. 15.25. The respondent has examined himself as R.W. 1. The respondent has stated that whatever he has stated in his counter affidavit is true and the same may be treated as his deposition in chief examination. Therefore, the applicant's counsel was permitted to cross examine the respondent on the basis of the counter affidavit filed by the respondent as his deposition in chief examination. It is his evidence that he is a practising Advocate at Dharmapuri for the last thirty three years and he has filed a number of substantial cases both in Civil as well as in Criminal matters in all Courts. He has further stated that the averments made in his counter affidavit are hundred per cent correct in the name of Almighty and that the present contempt application has been filed against him because of enmity, jealousy and the applicant wanted to corner and subdue him and also take range upon him. He has further deposed that because the members of the Bar were against him right from 1978, he has been against their illeg al wishes and desire. At the time of cross examination, the respondent had filed certain documents, such as the original plant presented by him in the Court of the District Munsif, Dharmapuri on 29-6-1987 (as party in person) in Diary No. 3572, which has been marked as Ex. R6 and the petition filed for punished the District Munsif, Mr. Ramalingam under the relevant provisions of the ‘Contempt of Courts Act’ presented in the Court of the Subordinate Judge, Dharmapuri on 1-2-1993 under Diary No. 609, whic h was returned on the very date i.e. 1-2-1993. The petition for contempt is marked as Ex. R7. The decretal order is marked as Ex. R7A. The Order copy is marked as Ex. R7B. The certified copy of the order in C.C. No. 256 of 1985, on the file of the Judicial Second Class Magistrate Court, Dharmapuri dated 2-12-1985 is marked as Ex. R8. The copy of the letter written by the President of the Bar Federation of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry on 4-1-1988 to the Director General of Police, Madras-4 with a copy marked to the respondent has been marked as Ex. R9. To a specific question that the respondent had a habit of fighting for a good cause, he answered in the affirmative and proceeded that right from the beginning he has been fighting for just causes and that they were not happy because of the jealousy against him and because the respondent and his son and daughter are Advocates and his another son is an engineer and he has a mango thope and a coconut thope etc., and he is the richest Advocate at Dharmapuri. To another question whether the respondent was a revolutionary, he answered that he has always been fighting for justice. He sought for a longer time because there was no scope for filing counter affidavit at all and when Mrs. Sudha Mohan wanted a longer time for filing counter, he represented and appealed to the Court that it was a contested matter under O. 21 R. 22 and that further notice was not necessary and delivery might be ordered.26. When the matter was called on 21-9-1995, the respondent produced certain other documents and submitted that they should be marked on his side. According to him, he had already submitted a list of those documents to the petitioner's counsel, the first of which is a letter written by the Secretary, Advocates' Association, Dharmapuri, dated 1-2-1993 to the respondent, which is marked as Ex. R10. The second is a cutting from the Tamil Daily ‘Dhina Malar’, dated 17-3-1993, which is marked as Ex. R11. The th ird is a copy of the complaint alleged to have been given by the respondent to the Sub Inspector of Police, Dharmapuri on 15-3-1993. The copy of the said complaint has been marked as Ex. R12. The next document is a copy of the complaint alleged to have been given by the respondent to the Sub Inspector of Police, Dharmapuri Town Police Station, dated 1-7-1994, which is marked as Ex. R14. A receipt issued by the Police Station is marked as Ex. R15. A copy of the complaint alleged to have been sent by the respondent to the Superintendent of Police, Dharmapuri District on 18-7-1994 along with the postal receipt for registration is marked as Ex. R16 and Ex. R16A respectively. The postal acknowledgment signed for the Superintendent of Police is marked as Ex. R17.27. The respondent said that he did not shout and that he was not at fault. In I.A. No. 817 of 1987, he was the respondent. When that I.A. was called he sought time for getting ready, he prayed for three months' time. Because in the first matter (REP. No. 33 of 1994), the Court observed that the respondent was dragging on the matter of his Junior Advocate and the Court was not seeing him as the counsel for his party but at Shanmugham, the respondent submitted before the Court that he had to apprise that fact to his client in the said I.A. either to change the Advocate or to have that particular case transferred to some other Court. For that purpose, he pleaded for three months' time. When the District Munsif directed the respondent to file an application to that effect the respondent submitted that as his steno was not available for preparing the affidavit and the necessary application, time might be granted to him for filing the necessary application. According to the respondent, he did not shout. To a specific suggestion that there was a lot of commotion from the time when the REP was called, the respondent denying the said suggestion replied that it was at the time of I.A. No. 817 of 1987 P.W. 2 intervened. The District Munsif did not try to pacify him. According to the respondent, there was no order by the Court to obey. In the REP long time was given by the Court for him. It was posted to 11-8-1994. The respondent did not press and there was no possibility for passing any ex parte order, because Advocate was appearing in that matter. The further suggestion put to him that because of the commotion and aurally behaviour on his part, the Court was not able to proceed, the respondent denied the same. According to the respondent, the District Munsif did not ask him to produce any authority, there was also no scope for citing any authority and he did not say that I need not produce any authority to any person of ABC like the Presiding Officer. Though the respondent admitted that he is the richest Advocate at Dharmapuri he was not willing to give the value of his property. However, he has stated that he is not an income tax assessee. He denied the suggestion that he has misbehaved with the District Munsif on 27-1-1993. He filed a contempt application against the District Munsif, Dharmapuri and therefore, the Bar members have ante dated the resolution, which was only after the filing of the case. To a court question whether there is a writing in ink of the respondent at the end of paragraph 12 in Ex. P15, the respondent admitted that the writing in ink is his. The witness identified his signature at page 41 in Ex. P16, which is marked as Ex. P16 B. According to the respondent, the copy of the resolution given to him does not contain his handwriting. The respondent admitted that the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu debarred him. According to him both the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu as well as the Bar Council of India advised him to settle the matter and because he was holding Rs. 4000/- as trustee for one person, he questioned the jurisdiction of the Bar Council because there was no misconduct involved there and because he refused to abide by their directions and wanted to fight the matter on merits they suspended him. Thereafter, the respondent went to the Supreme Court and the matter is still pending before the Supreme Court and stay order has been granted and there also, the respondent has been appearing in person only. The respondent has further deposed that he has got only one vote in the election held in 1977 for Dharmapuri Bar Association for Presidentship.28. As seen earlier, R.W. 1 wanted to examine Mr. B. Ramalingam as a witness on his side. We granted such permission. Mr. B. Ramalingam, District Munsif was examined as R.W. 2. He has deposed that his remarks to the contempt application, dated 8-9-1994 were sent to the Registrar of this Court and that the Advocate Mr. P. Shanmugham compelled the Court to pass an ex parte order of delivery. R.W. 2 has clearly stated that he has mentioned in his report as well as in his memorandum as to what had happened on the alleged date and that he could explain the position with the help of the report.29. The following questions and answers given by R.W. 2 can be usefully noticed in order to appreciate the case of the applicant as to how the respondent Mr. P. Shanmugham has behaved in Court:“Q. When E.P. No. 33 of 1994 was called what had happened?A. I, can explain that with the help of the report. I do not remember the number of the E.P. correctly. There was one E.P. in which the respondent was appearing as counsel. The E.P. is one for delivery.”Q. Then what had happened at that time when the EP was called?A. There was a direction by the District Judge to dispose of the same before September of that year. It was referred to in the notes paper also. In the previous hearing also, it was brought to my notice that it was posted for enquiry as a last chance. So, I called it for enquiry. I told that if there is any genuine reason, he may say that. But the respondent herein said ‘In the previous case, you granted time. But in this case, you are refusing to grant time. This case also has to be posted after three months.” But I refused to give a longer time as there was a direction by the District Judge to dispose of that case before September. He said immediately that he has no confidence in me and he can't continue that case in my Court. All these things were said in Tamil I said, otherwise, I will have to explain to the District Judge and action will be taken against me. So, I asked him to give a petition or memo for this. I think I have recorded these things in the notes papers.”Q. So, according to you, I refused to file an application for adjournment of that application?A. You wanted an adjournment for a longer time. I said that there is a direction by the District Judge to dispose of the some before September. I said I cannot act on your oral representation and I wanted you to file an application or memo. You said ‘it is none of my concern.” You may pass whatever order you want to pass. ..”Q. Again you please tell that the final decree application was called when the conversation was going on like this and what did P.W. 3 Say or what did he do? - he scolded me in filthy language?A. Nothing did happen in my presence in the open Court. No one uttered any word in addition to what I said. I am sure of it. ..”Q. You said that I told that for ABC I cannot give any authority. Have you stated so in your affidavit filed in this Court or in the memorandum?A. I did not say so.Q. Did I direct you to post the case for a shorter date or did I appeal to you to post it for a shorter date?A. Forcibly pressed me.Q. That I forcibly pressed you that is also not found in your affidavit or in the memorandum?A. I remember to have referred to it in the memorandum to the High Court.Q. Can you say what is the unnecessary word or unparliamentary word that I had used on 1-7-1994?A. Specifically I cannot say. What I have stated in the memorandum is correct.Q. I did not prevent you from proceeding with any other case after F.D. application and before you went to the Chambers?A. No, after the calamity has happened I retired to the Chambers because of the problem created.Q. After the FD application was adjourned, you were able to get along with any other case on that day?A. No I was not able to do.Q. Why were you not able to get along with the other cases?A. Because of the disturbances.Q. In what way can—you explain?A. When that was called, you were making comments—you were going on for the date I have given in the previous matter. I immediately said that it was the first hearing. In this case, there is a direction by the District Judge to dispose of the matter within September. At that time, you said I do not have confidence in this Court and that he will move for transfer off the case to some other Court. Thereafter, I said If you wish so, you make an application or memo for that. These were going on. When the si tuation became worse, the other Advocates interfered.Q. You were aware that I have filed a contempt application against you in the Sub Court?A. Is it so? I do not know that till now. Now only I learn about this.Q. The report to the High Court was not sent immediately on 1-7-1994 about the incident?A. I do not remember the date. But immediately I have addressed a letter to the District Judge.Q. All the Advocates boycotted the Court for 19 days and compelled you to take action against me.A. No They did not want me to take action, but they orally told me that till the Bar Association takes action expelling the respondent, they said they would not come to Court.Q. Whether any statement was recorded from the Court staff peons, etc.A. No.Q. Did you send a report to the higher authorities on the 18th July?A. On the day of incident, I sent a report to the District Judge.(Cross Examination)Q. Whatever you have stated in Ex. C2 sent by you to the High Court, is true?A. Yes.Q. Whatever you have stated in Ex. C4 report, is true?A. Yes.Q. Is it the first time that the respondent herein has acted in this manner in the Court before you?A. Previously also, he acted in such a manner. It is mentioned in the report.Q. On 27-1-1993, can you say what happened?A. I do not remember the date exactly. But the copy of the report submitted to the District Judge attached alongwith the memorandum would show.Q. On 1-7-1994, after all the incidents did you retire to you Chambers?A. Yes.Q. Could you say whether you retired to the Chambers because of the act and manner in which the respondent behave in the Court?A. Because of the disturbance prevailing at that time by the respondent made me to retire to my chambers.”30. We have considered the evidence tendered, both oral and documentary. P.W. 1 is the President of the Dharmapuri Bar Association, he has filed the affidavit in support of the Contempt Application and also deposed on the side of the applicant as P.W. 1. P.Ws. 2 and 3 are the eye witnesses to the occurrence which took place on 1-7-1994. They are also signatories to the resolutions passed by the Dharmapuri Bar Association condemning the unruly behaviour of the respondent. They have also identified their signatures in the resolution and other allied documents filed in this case. P.W. 3 was the former Secretary of the Dharmapuri Bar Association.31. It is true that P.W. 1 was not present in the Court Hall when the ugly incident took place and his evidence was characterised as ‘hearsay’ by the respondent. However, he was immediately informed by other advocates who were present in the Court Hall about the incident and thereupon an urgent meeting of the Bar Association was convened and unanimous resolution was passed by the Bar Association condemning the behaviour of the respondent. The respondent was also expelled from the membership of the Dharmapu ri Bar Association. The members of the Bar have also requested the District Munsif and the District Judge. Dharmapuri, by their resolutions to take necessary action against the respondent. Since no action was taken, they boycotted the Court for a period of nearly one month and finally filed the Contempt Application in this Court. The evidence of P.W. 1 as to the events which took place almost contemporaneously as a sequel to what happened in the Court Hall is not hearsay and those events can be accepted as ‘ res gestae ’. That is corroborative of the evidence of eye witnesses P.Ws. 2 and 3. Hence, we accept the evidence of P.W. 1 particularly when he has no motive to speak against the respondent.32. We have marked Ex. C-1, the resolution passed by the Dharmapuri Bar Association and sent to the Chief Justice of this Court, through the Assistant Registrar (Rules) of this court. In Ex. C-1 it is stated that unless action is taken against the respondent, the members of the Bar Association, Dharmapuri, have decided to boycott the Courts.33. Ex. C-2 was again marked through the Assistant Registrar (Rules) of this Court. It is a memorandum of reference under Section 15(2) of the Contempt of Courts Act sent by the District Munsif, Dharmapuri, against the respondent regarding the occurrence which took place in his Court hall on 1-7-1994, wherein the District Munsif has narrated as to what has happened in the Court Hall on that date. He prayed that action may be initiated against the respondent for his intentional mis-behaviour, interfering with the due course of judicial proceedings and obstruction of administration of justice on 1-7-1994, which caused boycotting of Courts by the Dharmapuri Bar Association from 1-7-1994 indefinitely. Along with the memorandum of reference, the District Munsif, Dharmapuri, has enclosed 27 affidavits duly signed by-the members of the Dharmapuri Bar Association. All the 27 signatories were present in the open Court of the District Munsif Court, Dharmapuri, on 17-1994 waiting for their cases to be called. In the affidavits they have narrated the events that took place on the fateful day viz., 1-7-1994.34. Ex. C-3 is the supporting affidavit of the District Munsif, Dharmapuri, wherein he has clearly mentioned about the attitude of the respondent and the ugly scene which he has created in the open Court in the midst of the litigant public, causing embarrassment to the Court. It is also stated therein that on 1-7-1994, being a Friday, nearly hundreds of suits and interlocutory Applications were posted since that day is ear-marked for calling of and disposal of Interlocutory Applications as per the High Court's Circular, and because of the attitude of the respondent, inconvenience and obstruction were caused not only to the Court but also to the litigant public and that he could not discharge his judicial function. The District Munsif, in his supporting affidavit, has also brought to the notice of this Court that the behaviour of the respondent on 1-7-1994 in open Court is not the first incident but he has already behaved in a worse manner than this occasion on 27-1-1993 and that he has also submitted a report with reference to that incident to the District Judge. Dharmapuri on 29-1-1993. Therefore, he prayed that suitable action may be initiated against the respondent for criminal contempt for his misbehaviour in Court.35. Ex. C-4 is the letter dated 8-9-1994 sent by the District Munsiff, Dharmapuri, to the Registrar of this Court enclosing a copy of the memorandum of reference and the copy of the supporting affidavit.36. The evidence tendered by P.Ws. 1 to 3 in regard to the incident that took place on 1-7-1994 is cogent and convincing. Even though the respondent tried to point out certain discrepancies in their evidence here and there, in our opinion, they are very minor in nature. All the three witnesses have deposed very clearly about the incident that took place on 1-7-1994 in the open Court. The District Munsif, who was examined as R.W. 2, has also very clearly stated in his evidence about the incident that took place on the date in question. This apart, 27 affidavits filed by the advocates who were present in Court on that day, in one single voice state that the behaviour of the respondent in Court on 1-7-1994 is unpardonable and that he continued his shouting and argued with the Presiding Officer endlessly in an indecent manner. He did not allow the Court to proceed further with the other cases and he actually obstructed and stalled the judicial proceedings by his continued shouting and worthless and meaningless comments. They have further stated that all these happenings were witnessed by so many litigants who were waiting for their respective cases. This behaviour of the respondent has lowered the authority of the Judiciary and even at the intervention of senior members of the Bar, who advised and requested the respondent to behave properly and keep up the decorum of the Court, there was no proper response from the respondent but instead, without understanding the good intention of the senior members of the Bar, the respondent challenged them that nobody could do anything against him. They further aver in their affidavits that the respondent was gesticulating and challenging violently, and at this stage, the Presiding Officer retired to his Chambers at the request of the members of the Bar to avoid any further unpleasantness. As a result, the Presiding Officer was prevented from conducting the judicial proceedings by the respondent and that the action of the respondent amounts to interference with the course of administration of justice. It is also stated in the affidavits that the respondent disrupted the normal functioning of the Court several times earlier and wasted the precious time of the Presiding Officer as well as the advocates. According to them, the incident on 1-7-1994 is not the first occasion that the respondent misbehaved with the Court and in fact, on 27-1-1993, he openly abused the sanle Presiding Officer and addressed the Presiding Officer without due respect to the Court and the members of the Bar, resulting in the Bar Association passing a resolution for his expulsion form the Bar. He has been continuing to behave in such a manner only because he was not proceeded against at any time earlier. He has been emboldened to continue with his deliberate acts because of the failure of the Court to punish him for contempt. His misbehaviour and unruly action in a disgusting manner is an act to insult the Judiciary and the Bar. He has committed all the offences covered by the Contempt of Courts Act and as such, he is liable to be punished for the same.37. It is seen from the memorandum of reference submitted by the District Munsif and the affidavits filed by the 27 advocates of the Dharmapuri Bar Association, that the respondent has behaved in an unruly manner unbecoming of an advocate of 32 years' standing at the Bar. There is no reason to disbelieve the evidence tendered by P.Ws. 1 to 3, who are the members of the legal profession. This apart, there is no reason to disbelieve the sworn statement of affidavits given by 27 advocates narrating the scheme of events that took place on 1-7-1994. It is also not in dispute and in fact admitted by the respondent himself in his evidence, that he was expelled as a member of Dharmapuri Bar Association in the year 1978 and was re-admitted on his tendering an unconditional apology. It is also in evidence that he again misbehaved on 27-1-1993 and the Dharmapuri Bar Association passed a resolution on 28-1-1993 condemning his behaviour with the very same Presiding Officer. Again, he was expelled as a member of Dharmapuri Bar Association. It is further in evidence that the respondent is waging a war and fighting a legal battle against the entire members of the Dharmapuri Bar Association. It is also elicited in evidence that the respondent is in the habit of filing cases against Judicial Officers and also against the executives of the Government. In our opinion, the respondent's evidence is not convincing and is not acceptable to us as against the voluminous and cogent oral and documentary evidence of P.Ws. 1 to 3 and Exs. P-1 to P-24 and Exs. C-1 to C-4.38. We are fully convinced that the respondent has misbehaved with the Presiding Officer of the Court on 1-7-1994 and continuously shouted and created an ugly scene in the Court and also obstructed the proper functioning of the Court, which resulted in the Dharmapuri Bar Association passing a resolution boycotting the Courts indefinitely for nearly a month. Because of the misconduct and unruly behaviour of the respondent, the litigant public were put to untold hardship and harassment by not being able to get on with their cases by the Court for nearly a month. Such conduct of the respondent cannot be brushed aside so lightly or leniently.39. Above all, the respondent has not even expressed his regret or unconditional written apology to the Court. Even at the time of hearing, he does not seem to have realised his faulty behaviour and has not come forward to express his unconditional apology. He was contesting the case tooth and nail and very vehemently. It is settled by a number of decisions of the Supreme Court and of this Court that this Court being a Court of Record, has inherent power in respect of contempt of itself as well as its Subordinate Courts. This Curt has a duty to protect and safeguard the interest of the lower courts to ensure the flow of freedom of justice in Courts without any interference or attack from any quarters much less from a member of the legal profession. The Subordinate and inferior Courts do not have adequate power under the law to protect themselves and therefore, we feel that it is necessary that this Court should protect them. In matters like this, this Court is dutybound to take effective steps to ensure free and fair administration of justice through the State.40. The instant case is exceptional in nature as because of the scene created by the respondent, the free functioning of the District Munsif Court, Dharmapuri, on 1-7-1994 was adversely affected and the administration of justice was paralysed. Therefore, this Court took cognizance of the matter on the contempt application by the Dharmapuri Bar Association.41. In the present case, the contempt is in the face of the Court. Since the language used, the tone and the manner in which the respondent has expressed his representation in Court, the District Munsif, Dharmapuri, by his memorandum of reference has brought to the notice of this Court the dis-respect shown by the respondent to the Court and his threatening and obstructional activities. After going through the report of the District Munsif, Dharmapuri, and the 27 supporting affidavits filed by the members of Dharmapuri Bar Association, and after hearing the learned counsel for the applicant and the condemner/respondent in person, we have no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that there is every reason to believe that notwithstanding his total denial, the contemner/respondent had undoubtedly tried to threaten, insult and show disrespect to the District Munsif, Dharmapuri. This is crystal clear from the supporting affidavits filed by the members of Dharmapuri Bar and also from the oral and documentary evidence adduced in this case.42. The incident, which took place on 1-7-1994 in the open Court had, in our opinion, undoubtedly created a scene in the Court. We have considered the oral evidence of P.Ws. 1 to 3 in ex tenso and also reproduced the relevant portions of the evidence of the Presiding Officer (R.W. 2) in paragraphs supra. The version of R.W. 2 is that when he put a question to the respondent as to under which provision the Court has to pass an ex parte order without hearing the respondent in that case, who took notice, the respondent started shouting at the Presiding Officer and said further that he cannot answer to persons like A, B, C. It is also his evidence that because of the noisy scene created by the respondent, he was to retire to his Chamber without discharging his judicial function earmarked for that date. It appears, that the respondent was totally unhappy since the District Munsif refused to oblige him. It is not for the respondent to dictate the order whichh the District Munsif should pass, and to create scene in Court and to address the Presiding Officer by losing his temper. The above acts of the respondent, in our view, are calculated to interfere with and obstruct the course of justice, which prevented the Presiding Officer from discharing his duties to administer justice.43. It is contended by the respondent that he was only performing his duty as an out-spoken and fearless member of the Bar. But, he has failed to follow self-restraint and respectful attitude towards the Court. It cannot, therefore, be disputed that the acts indulged into by the respondent in the instant case, as stated by the Presiding Officer in his memorandum of reference and as per his evidence, supported by the evidence tendered by P.Ws. 1 to 3, per se amount to criminal contempt of Court. We are satisfied that the respondent did indulge in the said act. The respondent/contemner has not even tendered an unconditional apology by withdrawing his statements, submission, etc., made at the Bar. We will be failing in our duty to protect the administration of justice from attempts to denigrate and lower the authority of the Judicial Officers entrusted with the sacred duty of delivering justice. Failure on the part of this Court to punish the offender like the respondent on an occasion such as this would thus be a failure to perform one of its essential duties solemnly entrusted to it by the Constitution and the people. For all these reasons, we accept the case of the applicant and hold that the respondent has committed criminal contempt.44. The question now is, what punishment should be meted out to the respondent/contemner. Though the conduct of the respondent warrants the imposition of a sentence of imprisonment, we are not awarding the same as the respondent is nearing 60 years of age. Accordingly, we impose the maximum fine of Rs. 2000/- (Rupees Two Thousand only) on the respondent. If the respondent fails to remit the said fine amount in this Court within two weeks from this date, he shall undergo Simple Imprisonment for a period of one week. In addition thereto, we direct the Registry of this Court to forward a copy of this order to the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu to consider taking of appropriate action against the respondent under the provisions of Advocates Act and the Bar Council Rules. The Contempt Application is ordered accordingly. However, there will be no order as to costs.45. Of late we find that the lawyers often abstain from Courts causing inconvenience to every one who are connected with it. In the instant case, the members of the Dharmapuri Bar have stayed away from Courts for nearly one month by way of protest against the behaviour of the respondent in Court on 1-7-1994. In our opinion, they ought not to have stayed away from Court. Recently, a Division bench of this Court in Madras Sugars Limited v. The State of Tamil Nadu (1995-2-L.W. 932), in which one of us (M. Srinivasan, J.) was a party, has noticed with anguish that boycotting Courts has become a regular feature in this State and almost throughout the year one section or the other section of the Bar abstain from Courts. We reiterate the views expressed by the said Division Bench which has relied upon the authoritative pronouncements of the Supreme Court. It appears that some members of the Bar are erroneously interpreting the ruling of the Supreme Court in Mangilal v. State of M.P. (J.T. 1994(3) S.C. 644). In that case the Supreme Court only pointed out that the High Court went out of bound in relying upon a newspaper report and considering the validity of the reason for the strike. The Court had no occasion to consider whether lawyers can boycott the Courts en masse . That is why the Court did not refer to its previous judgments referred to by the Division bench of this Court in Madras Sugars Ltd. case (1995-2-L.W. 932). The view expressed by the Division Bench in the above case is only in accord with the rulings of the Supreme Court. We hope that the members of the noble profession will realise their responsibility and in particular their paramount duty to their respective clients, and will not hereafter abstain from attending Courts and doing their duty.
"1996 (1) LW 330"