Punishing Lawyer:Court firm on punishing lawyer for assaulting woman colleague

The Delhi High Court Monday refused to recall its order, sending a lawyer to seven days in judicial custody and restraining him from entering the court premises, for assaulting a female lawyer during an hearing.
Ruling on the lawyer’s plea Monday urging the court to recall its order, the court held him guilty under criminal contempt of court and professional misconduct.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said: “An advocate is supposed to show decency and maintain decorum during the court proceedings, especially when the opponent lawyer happens to be a woman.”

“We are of the view that our order passed on Jan 13 does not call for any modification. To our mind, it does not amount to only scandalizing the court but also obstruction of the administration of justice, so the incident would constitute criminal contempt,” the court further observed.

Taking a strong note of the matter, the court said that lawyer has physically abused his woman colleague and that too in a court when proceedings were underway. It also said that there is no provision of review in contempt of court.

The lawyer had assaulted his female counterpart in the midst of a hearing before the Joint Registrar A.S. Jaichandra.

Taking cognizance of joint registrar’s report, the court barred the guility lawyer from practicing for three months and directed him to provide legal service to fellow inmates during his imprisonment.
Calling the incident professional misconduct, the court had also directed Bar Council to inquire into the matter. The male lawyer had accepted the allegations and apologized for his conduct.

A group of lawyers had, however, on the same day approached the court and sought modification of the order, saying both the lawyers are young and are at the threshold of their career. To this, the court asked them to resolve the matter and inform the court in writing.
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