Thursday, 2 February 2023

0704 01 Professional Ethics Case : Vishram Singh Raghubanshi v. State of UP



BENCH: Dr. B. S. Chauhan J, Swatanter Kumar J

CITATION: AIR 2011 SC 2275 

LAWS INVOLVED : Section 15 of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971


    The Appellant, an advocate practicing for last 30 years in the District Court, Etawah produced one person for the purpose of surrender, impersonating him as someone else who was wanted in a criminal case. There was some controversy regarding the genuineness of the person who came to surrender and therefore, the Presiding Officer of the Court raised certain issues. So, the appellant misbehaved with the said officer in the court and used abusive language.

    Due to misbehave, the Presiding Officer of the court made a complaint against the appellant to the U.P. Bar Council and also made a reference to the High Court for initiating contempt proceedings under Section 15 of the Act, 1971 against him.

    The High Court issued show cause notice. The appellant submitted his reply denying the allegations made against him. Apology tendered in the form of an affidavit.

    The Bar Council of U.P. dismissed the complaint referred by the Presiding Officer. Whereas the Allahabad High Court did not consider it proper to accept the explanation or accept the apology tendered by him, rather, it framed the charges against the appellant. In response to the same, the appellant again submitted an affidavit and tendered an apology similar to one in the affidavit filed earlier.

    The Division Bench of Allahabad High Court ultimately held the appellant guilty of committing the contempt and sentenced him to undergo 3 months simple imprisonment with a fine of Rs.2,000/-.

    Hence, aggrieved appellant has made this appeal.


    Defending counsel submitted that the appellant is aged and ailing person and had tendered absolute and unconditional apologies several times. Thus, the apology may be accepted and the sentence of three months simple imprisonment be quashed.

The Counsel appearing for the respondent contended that the appellant does not deserve any lenient treatment considering the language used and that the apology has not been tendered at the initial stage. The language of the apology is not such which shows any kind of remorse by the appellant, thus, considering the gravity of the misbehavior of the appellant, no interference is wanted. Therefore, the appeal is liable to be rejected.


    Whether misbehavior with the presiding officer of the court and using abusive language towards him amount to contempt of court and whether the apology tendered by the appellant can be considered as repentance.


The Supreme Court in its order held that the so-called apology contained ifs and buts. The Appellant was not even sure as to whether he has committed criminal contempt of the court or whether the most filthy abuses could hurt the Presiding Officer.

    Another apology was tendered under pressure only after framing of the charges by the HC when it is realised that he could be punished. There has been no repent or remorse on the part of the appellant at an initial stage. Apology tendered by the appellant gives the impression that the same was an alternative and not a complete surrender before the law. Such attitude has a direct impact on the court's independence, dignity and decorum.

    Thus, it is held that the apology tendered by the appellant had neither been sincere nor bona fide and thus, not worth acceptance and accordingly, dismissed.


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