Delhi HC Issues Notice Over Lawyer's Contemptuous Remarks During Online Hearing

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The court noted that Kumar, as a practicing lawyer, was expected to uphold decorum. However, he did not express any remorse and instead stood by his comments

The Delhi High Court recently directed a lawyer to justify why contempt of court proceedings should not commence against him due to his posting of contemptuous remarks in a chat box during virtual court sessions. The comments, made on the WebEx platform utilized by the high court for virtual hearings, were cited in the judge's order. 

The said lawyer had inscribed the comment ‘this court is slow to hear my cases’ during a video conference hearing, which occurred on May 6. This action was taken subsequent to the presentation of said remarks made by Sanjeev Kumar before the court, as noted on record by Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta.

In January, the court dismissed Kumar's petition against a trial court's decision and imposed a fine of ₹25,000. Kumar then filed a review petition against this decision. Kumar posted the comments a day before his matter was due for hearing.

When asked to explain his comments on May 9, Kumar informed the court that he would withdraw his review petition and approach the Supreme Court instead.

While acknowledging Kumar's right to pursue legal remedies, the court emphasized that this does not grant him the freedom to make contemptuous allegations and undermine the authority of the court.

The court further stated that the comments were intended to interfere with judicial proceedings and thus constitute criminal contempt.

The court directed Kumar to provide an explanation as to why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against him.

Case Title: Sanjeev Kumar v State Of Nct Of Delhi & Ors [CRL.M.C. 545/2024]