Mumbai: Observing that interference in the administration of justice is a serious act, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court on Friday sentenced a 55-year-old advocate to one week’s imprisonment. The high court, while pronouncing the sentence, said such an act by an advocate could not be tolerated.
A division bench of Justices Tanaji Nalawade and Vibha Kankanwadi said, “Interference in the administration of justice by giving threats, snatching the steno diary, addressing the judicial officer in loud voice, are definitely serious acts, more so when such acts have been done by an advocate who is the officer of the court. In fact, an advocate is supposed to maintain the decorum of the court, he should promote and see that all others who are present should also maintain the decorum of the court.”
The bench was seized with a reference made to it by a sessions judge who was abused in an open court by advocate Ramchandra Kagne. According to the reference, Kagne was representing a rape accused and the sessions judge was about to pronounce his verdict in the court room. However, minutes before the judge could do so, Kagne snatched the stenographer’s diary and flung it twice in the open court room.
He further threatened the judge and went on to abuse him in the open court room. Taking a note of this conduct, the HC bench said, “Obstruction in judicial process by an advocate cannot be tolerated. In fact, by the said act on the part of Kagne, the sessions judge could not discharge his duty.”
“The said acts of Kagne amounted to scandalising the court and obstruction in the administration of justice, therefore he is required to be dealt with sternly,” the bench said. It further noted, “Kagne cannot take shield that he had snatched the steno diary and flung it in order to protect the interest of his client. All the while he tried to project that due to procedural lapse on the part of the sessions judge, he was trying to protect his client. Even if for the sake of arguments we accept that there was any defect in the procedure, yet it could have been agitated in proper manner.” Accordingly, the bench sentenced Kagne to one week’s imprisonment. It also imposed a cost of Rs 2,000 on him.