Contempt Of Court

If a person opposes the dignity of court and defies the authority or justice than that behavior is called as contempt of court. Basically being disobedient or disrespectful to the court of law is simply the “contempt”. It is an act of 1971. The person either gets six months jail or fine up to Rs. 2000, or both. In Indian constitution under the article 129 and 215 it is stated that if any person defies the authority or the court then under this article court will imposed contempt of court on them.

The Contempt of Court Act, 1971, comes under Section2(a) as “civil contempt or criminal contempt”. Although they both differs from each other. However, civil contempt is a willful disobedience to a court judgement, writ, order, or etc. whereas criminal contempt means that an illegal act against the society where the person either by their words or actions undermines the authority or disobey the court. These are further regarded under Section2(b) and Section2(c) in the constitution. This act applies to every state of India except Jammu and Kashmir. This gives the court with certain powers to punish an individual for disobeying the judgement of the court. This acts also talk about the civil and criminal contempt with total of 24 sections comprised together. It generally states the concept, definition, defences available, the powers for punishment, procedure, or etc. under contempt of court. With this there is also Section 13 which include the defence of truth which can restrict the powers of the court to hold anyone in contempt only if they don’t interfere between the due process of justice, or amendment. This will balance the powers not only in the right direction but also the fundamental rights so that their can be a proper check in the judicial proceedings of the contempt.

Many people also criticize the Act as according to them there are many uncertainties in the legislation where it talks that how all words, acts, signs and visible representation that interfere in the process of justice can be a punishable offence. The purpose is rightly cleared by the House of Lords in Attorney General v. Times Newspapers Ltd. are ‘to enable the parties to litigation and the witnesses to come before the court without outside interference; to enable the courts to try cases without such interference; and to ensure that authority and administration of law are maintained.’

Freedom of speech and expression is the fundamental right of the citizens. If this is important then the faith on jurisdictional process is also important. Also if there are any uncertainties in the legislation then under Section 13 it could keep a check on discretionary powers of the court. This section also allow the defence of truth in the court proceedings and judges at that time can not charge anyone under this Section.