Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Contempt of Court 1971

Contempt of Court (1971):- One of the reasonable restriction as provided in the article 19 (2) on the exercise of the right to freedom of speech and expression, which include the freedom of the press guarantee under 19 (1) (a) in contempt of court. Contempt of court may be both civil and criminal.

Civil contempt means defines of court orders and private injury and doesn’t come under article 19 (2). Criminal contempt is define in the contempt of court act 1971 and it comes under article 19 (2) and the object here is not to save the court but to save the public confidence in the same. Court orders have to be obeyed and court procedure respected. Contempt of court means anything which:-
1. Scandalizes or lowers the authorities of the courts.
2. Prejudices or interference with judicial.
3. Interference with or obstructs the administration of justice in any other manner.
4. Discourages or influences witness in rendering evidence before the court.
5. Violates the secrecy of camera proceeding of the court. Even a tendency towards doing the above.

In-Camera Trial: - Fair and accurate report of court proceeding except held in camera are not contempt but comment are not permissible in the interest of the parties to the litigation or on pending legal proceeding. The duty of a journalist is to report cases and not to adjudicate upon.
Publication of court proceeding where the judge has expressed the prohibited is contempt. However, any fair comment on the merits of a case which has been finally heard & decided is not contempt. The press however enjoys immunity from contempt during the investigation of the case by the police and the immunity ends when the magistrate of the court takes cognizance of the case after investigation that is after the final report of investigation is submitted to the court known as “charge sheet”.

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