Advocate sentenced to Jail for abusing Woman Colleague

A bench of Justices T S Thakur and Adarsh K Goel of the Apex Court send a strong signal against incidents of harassment of women particularly in court premises, while dismissing an appeal by a lawyer against a week-long jail term in a case of misdemeanour against a woman colleague in Delhi High Court in 2012.

Apex Court has upheld imprisonment of an advocate who had been sentenced to seven days imprisonment for criminal contempt charges, where he allegedly abused and slapped a woman lawyer during proceeding before the joint registrar. Way back in January 13, 2012 advocate is accused of physically abusing a female colleague and behaving indecently during a hearing before a High Court Registrar.

High Court on the same day acting suo motu sent the accused to jail for a week and debarred him from practising in any Delhi court for three months. Further, court also directed the Bar Council of India, which is the apex disciplinary authority for lawyers, to take necessary action against the accused.

Earlier High Court convicted the accused saying that, his actions had interfered with judicial procedure, obstructed justice and lowered the majesty of the Court; the high court had convicted him of contempt of court. However, in his appeal to the Apex Court, he challenged the High Court order on the ground that, his conduct did not strictly fall under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, and the incident took place when the two lawyers were working together and the registrar was not present. Further, he submitted that, the incident happened on the spur of the moment and his client regretted his behaviour and any disciplinary action against him could come only from the Bar Council and not the court.