CHHOTUBHAI BECHARBHAI PATEL Vs. NAGIN V GANDHI
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
CHHOTUBHAI BECHARBHAI PATEL
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(1.) These two appeals are directed against the order passed by the learned Sessions Judge Surat in sessions case No. 91 of 1978 at Exs. 57 & 58 ordering that two separate complaints be lodged against the appellant before the competent Magistrate for the alleged commission of two offences punishable under sec. 228 of the Indian Penal Code.
(2.) A few facts leading to the passing of the said order may be briefly stated. The appellant who was working as an executive Magistrate and City Mamlatdar for Surat was examined as a witness tEx. 46) in sessions case No. 91 of 1978 before the learned Sessions Judge Surat on 14 When the appellant was under cross-examination the learned Advocate for the defence put him a question as to what was the distance between his office and the gate of the castle to which he replied that he had not measured the same. On feeling that the witness should not have answered in this fashion the learned Sessions Judge reprimanded the appellate telling him that he was a responsible officer and that he should not answer in a manner in which a layman would answer. On these remarks the appellant is alleged to have uttered the following words *** Translated into English it would mean that the advocate for the defence had put a quesstion without any base (***) (the learned Sessions Judge has translated it as absurd) and the court supports him. In the opinion of the learned Sessions Judge the appellant by this behaviour and uttering these words intentionally offered insult to court thereby committing an offence punishable under sec. 228 of the Indian Penal Code. He therefore by an order at Ex. 58 issued a notice against the appellant requiring him to show cause as to why he should not be prosecuted for the contempt of court punishable under sec. 228 of the Indian Penal Code. The appellant filed his reply at Ex. 68 to the said show cause notice inter alia explaining that he uttered the said words because when he had earlier stated that he had not measured the distance the learned Advocate after expressing sorrow inquired as to what was the distance approximately and he felt that the question was not properly formulated and thereupon when the court passed the said remarks against him reprimanding him and asking him not to answer like a layman he being a responsible officer it all of a sudden came out from his mouth that the court was granting protection to the learned Advocate for the defence and thereafter he immediately answered that the distance was approximately 30 to 35. It is also his explanation that the unfortunate incident happened all of a sudden and he had not the slightest intention of causing any insult to the court nor could there be such an intention on his part. However if the court thought that his behaviour was insulting in this connection then he expressed regret sincerely and asked for pardon assuring that in future he will take care to see that no such incident happens.
(3.) It may also be mentioned at this stage that during the course of the very proceeding as complained by the learned Sessions Judge when his evidence was being recorded on oath when the learned Judge was dictating it to the typist-clerk the appellant had shouted and by taking objection against dictation intentionally caused interruption to the work of dictating the deposition and in the opinion of the learned Sessions Judge this also amounted to an offence under sec. 228 of the Indian Penal Code. He therefore issued another show cause notice as per Ex. 57 against the appellant. The appellant by his reply Ex. 66 explained by saying that irs para 2 of his deposition it was noted that suspected accused were produced before the appellant by the Jailor. His intention in making the statement was that the jailor had sent the suspected accused along with the report. The appellant was asked the question as to who had brought before him the suspected accused to which his reply was that the policemen had brought the suspected accused and as it was noted in para 2 of his deposition that the suspected accused were produced by the jailor he said that it was not proper to say that the jailor had produced them and that while raising this objection the same seems to have been raised Will a loud voice by him but that was spoken in the natural manner and he had no intention of insulting the court thereby and in raising the objection his intention was not to interrupt the court in the work of dictation of the depositlon nor could such be his intention. However if the court found his behaviour improper he expressed his regrets and asked for pardon and assured that in future he will take care to see that no such thing happens. The learned Sessions Judge passed a common order disposing of both the said notices below Exs. 57 and 58.;
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