BASANTA CHANDRA GHOSH ADVOCATE Vs. STATE OF BIHAR
LAWS(PAT)-1960-1-11
HIGH COURT OF PATNA
Decided on January 29,1960

BASANTA CHANDRA GHOSH Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF BIHAR Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

SURENDRA NATH BANERJEE V. CHIEF JUSTICE AND JUDGES OF HIGH COURT AT FORT WILLIAN IN BENGAL [REFERRED TO]
AMRITA BAZAR PATRIKA [REFERRED TO]
BAHAMA ISLANDS [REFERRED TO]
POLLARD [REFERRED TO]
R. V. DAVIES [REFERRED TO]
MCLEOD V. ST. AUBYN [REFERRED TO]
PENNEKAMP V. FLORIDA [REFERRED TO]
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,BEING BRIDGES V. CALIFORNIA [REFERRED TO]
CRAIG V. HARNEY [REFERRED TO]
NYE V. UNITED STATES [REFERRED TO]
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN TOLEDO NEWSPAPER CO. V. UNITED STATES [REFERRED TO]
HARRY SACHER V. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA [REFERRED TO]
NATIONAL TELEPHONE CO. LTD. V. POSTMASTER-GENERAL [REFERRED TO]
R. V. EDITOR OF NEW STATESMAN [REFERRED TO]
T.B. HAWKINS V. D.P. MISHRA [REFERRED TO]
PARASHURAM DETARAM V. EMPEROR [REFERRED TO]
PANCH GUJAR GAUR,BRAHMANS V. AMARSINGH [REFERRED TO]
VINDHYA PRADESH STATE V. BAIJNATH DUBE [REFERRED TO]
OFFUTT V. UNITED STATES [REFERRED TO]
PROVINCE OF BENGAL V. HINGUL KUMARI LAW [REFERRED TO]
S. GOPALAN V. STATE OF MADRAS [REFERRED TO]
THE CROWN V. A. RAFIQUE [REFERRED TO]
VALLABHDAS JAIRAM V. NARRONJEE PERMANAND [REFERRED TO]
EBRAHIM MAMOOJEE PAREKH V. EMPEROR [REFERRED TO]
HOMI RUSTOMJI PARDIVALA V. SUB-INSPECTOR BAIG [REFERRED TO]
TUSHAR KANTI GHOSH [REFERRED TO]
SASHI BHUSAN SARBADHICARY [REFERRED TO]
HABIB [REFERRED TO]
TARIT KANTI BISWAS [REFERRED TO]
A K GOPALAN VS. STATE OF MADRAS OPPOSITE PARTY; UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]
BRAHMA PRAKASH SHANNA VS. STATE OT UTTAR PRADESH [REFERRED TO]
SUKHDEV SINGH VS. HONBLE C J S TEJA SINGH AND THE HONBLE JUDGES OF THE PEPSU HIGH COURT AT PATIALA [REFERRED TO]
STATE VS. PADMA KANT MALVIYA [REFERRED TO]
SHEORAJ VS. A P BATRA [REFERRED TO]
NARESH CHANDRA BOSE VS. SACHINDRA NATH DEB [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF BOMBAY VS. HEMAN SANTLAL ALREJA [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF BOMBAY VS. NARASU APPA MALI [REFERRED TO]
BANK OF INDIA VS. JOHN BOWMAN [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA VS. P [REFERRED TO]
STATE VS. DASRATH JHA [REFERRED TO]
LEGAL REMEMBRANCER VS. BIBHUTI BHUSAN DAS GUPTA [REFERRED TO]
RAMJI SINGH VS. MUSAMMAT CHHULGHHANA KUER [REFERRED TO]
HADI HUSAIN VS. NASIR UDDIN HAIDER [REFERRED TO]
DEBI PRASAD SHARMA VS. EMPEROR [REFERRED TO]
ANDRE PAUL TERENCE AMBARD VS. ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO [REFERRED TO]
SUPERINTENDENT AND REMEMBRANCER OF LEGAL AFFAIRS VS. MURALI MANOHAR PRASAD [REFERRED TO]
ANANTA LAL SINGH VS. ALFRED HENRY WATSON [REFERRED TO]
PARASHURAM DETARAM SHAMDASANI VS. EMPEROR [REFERRED TO]



Cited Judgements :-

ADVOCATE-GENERAL ANDHRA PRADESH HYDERABAD VS. V RAMANA RAO [LAWS(APH)-1965-12-14] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH VS. V PRAKASA RAO [LAWS(APH)-1997-9-143] [RELIED ON]
P C SEN CHIEF MINISTER OF WEST BENGAL VS. STATE [LAWS(CAL)-1966-3-5] [REFERRED TO]
KALLOL GUHA THAKURATA VS. BIMAN BASU [LAWS(CAL)-2005-3-1] [REFERRED TO]
COURT ON BEHALF OF STATE VS. RADHA KRISHNA KHANNA [LAWS(P&H)-1960-11-1] [REFERRED TO]
BHOLA NATH CHAUDHARY VS. STATE OF BIHAR [LAWS(PAT)-1960-5-1] [REFERRED TO]
BASANTA CHANDRA GHOSE VS. COLLECTOR OF PATNA [LAWS(PAT)-1968-5-16] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

Misra, J. - (1.)This proceeding has been started against Sri Basanta Chandra Ghosh, an Advocate of this Court, to show cause why he should not be committed for contempt of Court in respect of an article published in the latest morning edition of the Searchlight, a Patna daily, in its issue of March 8, 1959. The article was published under the caption "Recommendations of Law Commission". The High Court took notice of the article and accordingly the above rule was issued on the 7th of April, 1959. The article deals with certain matters relating to the judicial administration of the High Court. The occasion for the article was the publication of the report of the Law Commission appointed by the Government of India whose report came out duly and was published in the press.
(2.)The writer, who described himself as "Basant Chandra Ghose", made comments on the judicial administration of the High Court in various matters. In some of his comments he referred to the recommendations of the Law Commission with approval and in certain other matters he expressed his disagreement with the recommendations of the Law Commission but, on the whole, the article appeared to the High Court to be an independent animadversion on the judicial administration of the High Court with occasional reference to the recommendations of the Law Commission. In the notice issued to him, the following passages from the article were specifically mentioned as constituting contempt of Court, specially the Patna High Court, although reference was made to the tone of the entire article as being derogatory to the dignity, independence and impartiality of its judicial administration. The impugned passages run thus :
"Very few in this country acquainted with the working of the judiciary would honestly differ from the report of the Law Commission on the unsatisfactory method of recruitment of Judges, the lowering of standard of judiciary and selection of Judges on consideration other than fitness as also with that part of the report which deals with the executive influence on the judiciary".

"......... The recommendation for preliminary hearing of Article 32 petition and of enlarging the powers of a Single Judge are retrogatory and cannot be accepted by independent thinking people in the profession. Our experience in some of the High Courts where most of the Writ applications are dismissed at the admission stage and where most of the Civil and Criminal Appeals including First Appeals are heard by Single Judges, has not been very happy and encouraging. More discouraging has been the innovation of hearing in full of Letters Patent Appeals 'in admission' (there being no provision for the same in law) and of Writ Applications with notice to the Advocate General and in full at the admission stage which have resulted in stultification of justice. Instead of one there have been two full hearings in Article 226 matters in some of the High Courts, where these applications are heard with notice to the Advocate General at the admission stage, the result being in more cases than one statements made without affidavit even without instruction by the State Counsel are considered good grounds for rejection at the preliminary hearing, even though, at times it has been found that such statements were contrary to records. We had expected the Law Commission to say something about the nature of the hearing of these petitions under Article 226 and Article 32 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has recently condemned the procedure adopted in some High Courts in disposing of application for writ of certiorari without the records. It is surprising that the Law Commission was not aware that in some High Courts prayers for calling for records in application for writ of certiorari or prohibition have been curtly rejected and what would have appeared from the records themselves have been disposed of on vague affidavits made on behalf of the State of Bihar on the simple ground that the facts are contested and disputed and, therefore, would require investigation and hence beyond the scope of writ application. If records were before the Court, there would have been no scope for such consideration and much of the time of the courts would be saved by stopping unnecessary opposition to such application".

"The recent case of Babul Chandra Mitra, who is its victim, is an eye-opener to the profession where the High Court has repeatedly refused to consult even the Bar Council in the matter of enrolment and the Supreme Court refused to interfere with the High Court's exercise of power in the matter without a hearing. Even a hearing, if at all, is done in closed chamber and the applicant, who is refused permission to practise, is not unlike the lawyer, who is removed from the roll, permitted to be heard in open court or even to be represented by a lawyer before the Judges in chamber. This might have been well in conformity with the design of the foreigner's rule over this country, But to allow this to be continued over 9 years after the achievement of independence and adoption of a democratic Constitution is really a matter of shame and disgrace".

"Of late arrears have become the bogey with some of the Judges and not only First Appeals of the value of Rs. 10,000/- are being heard by single Judges but they are heard more or less as Second Appeals and it is amusing to watch that a single Judge disposes of 4 or 5 First Appeals in one day without even looking into the printed paper book and the volume of evidence in the case, If the law has been amended today transferring appeals of the value of less than Rs. 10,000/- to the District Judge, the District Judge, it is hoped, will certainly not treat those First Appeals as Second Appeals. The Single Judge First Appeals in the High Courts have really created a very interesting episode. The parties have lost their right of appeal on facts while the new appeals to the District Judges will be heard on facts and here will be second appeal to the High (Court). The present first appeals of the value of less than Rs. 10,000/-now pending before the High Court are being disposed of on pure question of law without consideration of facts. This has become worst part of the present tendency in administration of justice where the bogus (bogie ?) of clearance of arrears have over-weighed judicial temperament of Judges."

(3.)Sri Basanta Chandra Ghosh appeared in due course but did not file any written statement showing cause against the notice. He stated in answer to a question by the Court that he was not prepared to make any statement beyond saying that he was not guilty. He was asked whether he was the author of the article in question inasmuch as the name of the author of the article published in the Searchlight did not describe him as Advocate or Advocate, Patna High Court, but simply as "Basant Chandra Ghose". Sri Ghosh, however, refused either to admit that he was the author of the article or to say that he was not the author of the article and insisted on maintaining the stand that he would not say anything more than that he was not guilty. A question of procedure, accordingly, came up for consideration to determine whether Sri Basant Chandra Ghosh, Advocate, the alleged conteraner before the Court, was the author of the article which might be done either by the statement OB affidavit of persons from the relevant departments of the Searchlight or by examining them in Court to establish the authorship of the articles. Learned Advocate General suggested that it would be convenient to have some witnesses from the Searchlight examined who dealt with the article at various stages, particularly on the editorial side, so that if Sri Basant Chandra Ghosh thought it proper to cross-examine them he might have a chance to do so, of which he might otherwise be deprived if the statements were made on affidavit by the persons concerned. It is no doubt true that it was an extra-ordinary procedure and a favour shown to Sri Basant Chandra Ghosh considering his position as an Advocate practising in this Court, because in normal circumstances the matter could well have been disposed of on a mere statement on affidavit. It is thus necessary to scrutinise the evidence of the witnesses examined in the case because the primary question to be answered would be whether Sri Basant Chandra Ghosh, Advocate who is being proceeded against, wrote the article in question.


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