SC to hear contempt plea against Allahabad HC judges in July

New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court on Monday did not pass any order on a petition seeking contempt action against two judges of Allahabad High Court in connection with the death of a lawyer who was sent to jail for one month by the judges over contempt of the court.
The apex court posted the matter for hearing in July after it was informed by the advocate for Uttar Pradesh that a PIL was filed in the High Court following the lawyer’s death on which interim orders have been passed and the state government has given an assurance to provide compensation to victim’s family.
“The High Court has taken up the matter and interim directions were passed on May 16. In our opinion, ends of justice would be met if the matter is adjourned and taken after the vacation,” a bench comprising Justices C K Thakker and L S Panta said.
The High Court had held advocate S K Awasthi guilty of contempt of court for attributing motives to judges and accusing them of being biased.
The petition filed by advocate Aeltemesh Rein alleged that the victim, serving a month-long imprisonment for committing contempt, had died after he was illegally chained, handcuffed and tortured by the jail authorities.
It was alleged that two High Court judges, B S Chauhan and Arun Tandon, who had punished Awasthi for contempt had themselves committed contempt by violating directions given in 1998 by the apex court that an accused can be handcuffed only in exceptional cases.
Showing sympathy towards the deceased, the Bench wanted to know from the petitioner if the advocate ever complained that he was handcuffed or chained in the jail. “We have all sympathy for the lawyer as we have also come from the same fraternity,” the Bench observed.
Monday, June 2, 2008


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