Read Judgment: P R Adikesavan v. The Registrar General, High Court of Madras and Another 

Tulip Kanth

New Delhi, May 27, 2022: The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed by the appellant-advocate  against the judgment of the Madras High Court sentencing him to two weeks of simple imprisonment and debarring him from practicing for a period of one year as the appellant obstructed the process of justice when the non-bailable warrant was sought to be served on him. The Court took note of the fact that the video footage showed that it was a group of lawyers who surrounded the police officials and abused them.

The Division Bench of Justice D.Y.Chandrachud and Justice Bela M. Trivedi was considering a matter wherein the  insolvency proceedings were initiated against the appellant under the provisions of the Presidency Towns Insolvency Act ,1909 and in 2021, a Single Judge of the Madras High Court issued a non-bailable warrant seeking the presence of the appellant on March 26, 2021. After 5 days,  when a team of the police tried to execute the warrant, the appellant and fifty other advocates surrounded the police and prevented them from executing the order. 

The Deputy Commissioner of Police brought the incident to the notice of the Registrar General an on perusing the video clippings of the incident, the Single Judge initiated contempt proceedings against the appellant under Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1926.Later, by the impugned judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court, the appellant was sentenced to undergo two weeks of simple imprisonment and was also barred from practicing as an Advocate in the Madras High Court for one year.The appellant moved this Court in an appeal under Section 19 of the Contempt of Courts Act,1971 r/w Rule XX of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013

Though the counsel urged that the appellant had submitted an apology, the Apex Court clarified that the behaviour and conduct of the appellant, who is a member of the Bar has been thoroughly contemptuous and the appellant is complicit in the obstruction of justice. Some of the factors that were taken into consideration were the wanton allegations levelled against the Single Judge of the Madras High Court and the recusal sought on thoroughly improper grounds. Five adjournments were also sought by the appellant delaying the conclusion of the proceedings only to later file sub-applications imputing allegations against two Judges of the Madras High Court. The appellant later also took back the sub-applications from the registry and did not represent them, noted the Bench.

Thus, the Bench concluded that the appellant has no respect for the administration of justice and the debarment from practicing for a period of one year is in accordance with the judgment of this Court in R.K. Anand vs Registrar, Delhi High Court.

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