Sydney litigant faces contempt charges for using abusive language during Delhi HC VC

A litigant appearing through video conferencing in Delhi High Court from Sydney has discovered that the arm of the law is indeed long and can nip vulgar tongues across oceans.

THE Delhi High Court has initiated contempt of court proceedings against a litigant who was heard abusing the judge on video conferencing from Sydney.

The contemnor, Anita Kumari Gupta, was overheard by Justice Neena Bansal Krishna saying, “Ye saali kya kar rahi hai? What the f*** is going on in this court.”

The incident took place on January 10 this year.

Registering a suo motu contempt case, Justice Krishna observed that such derogatory remarks made by Gupta to denigrate the court were patently contemptuous and showed a complete disregard for the dignity of the court, even though the counsels representing respective parties were present and had agreed to the date given on April 16, 2024 for final arguments.

Issuing a show cause notice to Gupta, Justice Krishna directed her to appear before the court in person on April 16, 2024.

Justice Krishna also directed the Foreigners Registration Office (FRRO) to impound the passport/visa-on-arrival of Gupta in case she comes to India before the date fixed for the hearing.

The court also directed that she should not be permitted to leave the country without the direction of the court.

In addition, Justice Bansal directed the High Commission of India in Canberra, Australia to communicate the Order to Gupta.

Section 2(c) of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971 defines “criminal contempt” as “the publication (whether by words, spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representations, or otherwise) of any matter or the doing of any other act whatsoever which— 

(i) scandalises or tends to scandalise, or lowers or tends to lower the authority of, any court; or 

(ii) prejudices, or interferes or tends to interfere with, the due course of any judicial proceeding; or 

(iii) interferes or tends to interfere with, or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the administration of justice in any other manner.”

Section 12 provides that a contempt of court may be punished with simple imprisonment for a term that may extend to six months, or with a fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both.

However, it is also provided that the accused may be discharged or the punishment awarded may be remitted on apology being made to the satisfaction of the court.

Click here to read the order.