Read order: In Re ASOK PANDE (Suo-Motu Contempt Petition)
Prayagraj, August 24, 2021: The Allahabad High Court (Lucknow Bench) has taken suo motu contempt action against advocate Asok Pandey for using abusive language in Court and terming the judges as ‘goondas’.
A Division Bench of Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh observed that Pande had committed ex-facie contempt and had a long history of misbehavior inside and outside the court room and committing contempt of the Court.
The dispute arose on August 16, 2021 when the Court took suo motu cognizance in a PIL in respect of the Bar Association Election. When the Court was hearing the Returning Officer and Chairman of the Elders’ Committee of Awadh Bar Association, Pande barged into the court room and came to podium without uniform and started shouting on top of his voice.
When the Court asked him about his capacity to address the Court, he said he was a Member of the Avadh Bar Association and had every right to address the Court. When the Court asked that why he was not in uniform, he said that would not don the advocate’s uniform as he had challenged the Bar Council Rules prescribing the Dress Code for Lawyers.
When the Court warned the advocate of removal from the court premises if he would not behave properly, he used abusive language against the judges and said that the Judges were behaving like ‘goondas’.
Noticing that Pande continued to create unpleasant atmosphere inside the Court and went on to disturb the Court proceedings amounting to interference with the administration of justice and scandalizing the court, the Division Bench called for his removal from the Court Room in order to maintain serenity and decorum of the Court proceedings, dignity of the High Court and majesty of law.
The Bench also ordered that Pande be kept in custody of the court till 3 PM so that he could come to Court and express his remorse and tender unconditional apology to the court for his outrageous behavior.
“A minuscule minority of the Lawyers are bringing disrepute to the noble profession and trying to browbeat Judges and interfere with administration of justice. It is the duty of the Judges and Advocates’ community to uphold the majesty of law and maintain the purity in justice delivery system. The dignity of judges cannot be allowed to be polluted by these disgruntled and publicity seeking persons,” said the Division Bench.
The Bench reiterated that the past conduct of Pande and ex facie contempt committed by him in the court room leave them with no scope other than charging him for committing ex facie contempt of the court.
Besides initiating these contempt proceedings, the High Court also directed the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh to examine the past conduct of Pande, in order to decide whether such a person is worthy of being part of the noble profession, and take appropriate disciplinary proceedings against him.