November 2, 2023
symbolizing the legal focus

The current legal system is the culmination of a protracted path that began with the divine rule in proclamation, progressed to natural law, and ultimately culminated in the positive law of today. In addition to punishing anyone who attempts to undermine the authority or dignity of the legal system, contempt of court is an issue that deals with the idea that justice should be served equitably.

Contempt of Court: About

The word “contempt of court” simply means acting disrespectfully or disobediently toward a court of law, which entails wilfully disobeying a court order or treating the judiciary with contempt. If the contemnor turns out to be guilty of contempt of court, the judge then has the authority to impose penalties like fines or even put him in jail for a predetermined amount of time.

The Contempt of Courts Act 1971

Because the government believed that the laws pertaining to contempt of court were vague, confusing, and inadequate. The Contempt of Courts Act of 1971, which may be characterized as a comprehensive law, was passed. Significant modifications to both procedural and enactment applications were brought about by the Act of 1971. The term “contempt of court” was then divided into two categories: “Civil” and “Criminal,” each with a definition that was absent from the previous Acts.

Purpose: It was enacted with the intention of ensuring both the right administration of justice throughout the nation and public confidence. It would not have been fair or reasonable for the law courts to exercise their jurisdiction under the act if they had not been cautious, unless they were beyond a reasonable doubt satisfied in another way.

Contempt of Court: Types

There are two types of Contempt under the Contempt of Courts Act 1971 which is often discussed by the expert teachers in the RJS Coaching in Jaipur. They are:

  • Civil Contempt of Court: Under Section 2(b) of the Contempt of Courts Act 1971, deliberate noncompliance to any judgment, decree, order, direction, or other judicial process, as well as deliberate breach of an undertaking provided to the court, are described as “civil contempt.”
  • Criminal Contempt of Court:  Section 2(c) of the Contempt of Courts Act 1971 defined Criminal Contempt as the publication of any information, spoken or written by signs, by visual representation, by any other means, or by any other act that scandalizes or threatens to scandalize, diminishes or threatens to diminish the authority of any court, precludes or interferes with the correct procedure of any judicial proceeding, or interferes with or threatens to interfere with the execution of justice in any other way.

Contempt of Court: Punishments

  • Section 12 of the Contempt of Courts Act 1971 addresses the provisions for punishment in situations where contempt has been established. If an apology is made for the act of contempt, punishment in the form of imprisonment or a fine may be lessened.
  • In general, the Act’s authorized punishments consist of either simple imprisonment for a maximum term of six months, a fine of up to two thousand rupees, or both. A proviso to Section 12 stipulates that if the accused makes an apology to the knowledge of the court, the punishment imposed may be reduced or the accused may be released from custody. If the accused offered a sincere apology, it could not be dismissed on the grounds that it is qualified or conditional.

Contempt of Court: Role of the Judiciary

The two landmark cases discussed in the institutes providing RJS Coaching in Jaipur are as follows:

  • In the case of R. Rajagopal v State Of T.N, also known as the Auto Shankar case, Justice Jeevan Reddy used John Sullivan’s well-known theory in it. According to this theory, the general public must be receptive to harsh criticism and charges as long as they are offered honestly and diligently, even if they are incorrect.
  • In the case of Supreme Court Bar Association v Union of India & Anr, the judge ruled that the Parliament could nonetheless specify procedural requirements for contempt of court in order for them to be applied in both the Supreme Court as well as the High Court. This indicates that Section 12(1) of the Contempt of Court Act of 1971, which set a maximum fine of Rs. 5,000 and a six-month imprisonment, will apply in this situation.

Contempt of Court: Remedies

  • According to Section 13 of the Contempt of Court Act of 1971, there are several situations or situations in which contempt of court cannot be penalized.
  • No court under this Act may penalize someone for contempt of court unless it is convinced that the contempt has the potential to seriously impede the proper administration of justice.

The limits imposed by the contempt of court rule are limited to what is necessary to maintain the credibility of the legal systems. Therefore, as discussed in various teachers in the RJS Coaching in Jaipur, while taking a civil as well as criminal contempt action, superior courts must follow certain procedures, which must be outlined in rules and guidelines that respect the concepts of natural justice and fairness.

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