Police officer in Rajasthan was Fined ₹25,000 by Rajasthan High Court for Striking defence Counsel While Testifying

Rajasthan High Court Law Insider

Aastha Thakur

Published on: 31 October 2022 at 18:56 IST

The Rajasthan High Court fined a police officer was recently fined Rs. 25,000 in costs, after it determined that he had struck a defence lawyer who was questioning the officer as a witness in a case.

Bench of Justices Vivek Bishnoi and Farjand Ali ordered so after taking into account the contemnor’s actions as well as the valuable time the High Court used to decide the matter.

The Court ordered, “As we found that the respondent-contemnor is guilty of unruly behaviour in the trial court and this Court while dealing with the instant contempt petition has devoted its precious time..”

“…deem it appropriate to direct the respondent-contemnor to deposit a sum of ₹25,000 with the District Legal Services Authority, Bhilwara within a period of one month from today,” 

The Court further stated that any attempt to hinder the administration of justice, disgrace the court, or impede the proper conduct of legal processes should be punished severely.

It was stressed by the bench that, “The majesty of courts of law is very important and is paramount for the purpose of proper administration of justice and to create a sense of confidence in general public,”

But after the contemnor offered an unequivocal apology, the court accepted it and treated it as genuine.

“The respondent-contemnor is a young person having two minor children and looking to the background of his family, a lenient view is taken in the matter.”

The district judge’s complaint that the defendant had slapped the defence lawyer while testifying as a witness served as the basis for the contempt of court petition.

It was claimed that this behaviour caused judicial work to be disrupted.

In addition to the petition for contempt of court, a case was filed against him under Section 228 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) (intentional insult or interruption to public servant sitting in judicial proceeding). 

The defendant justified the act by claiming that the defense lawyer had exert pressure on him before the hearings and had constantly hit his legs during the cross-examination.

He further submits that the assault caused him pain which triggered his anger and he lost his temper and gently slapped the counsel. He also later on apologised for his action.

The victim counsel however, refused to accept the unconditional apology. His representative contended that slapping a defence counsel was a grave offence that could not be forgiven.

While the court accepted the apology, the argument of the contemnor was rejected stating that if he suffered injury on account of the lawyer, he could have immediately complained to the presiding officer.

The division bench observed that the defence submitted before the court was apparently afterthought of the respondent-contemnor.

The case was set aside by imposing fine of ₹25,000. Further adding that the hearing under Section 228 would still continue.

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