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Powers Of Supreme Court For The Contempt Of Itself

The word "Misconduct" has been used widely, in respect to the advocate it has been broadly divided into two types:
Misconduct and Professional Misconduct.

Whenever the question in respect to the contempt of court arose the word misconduct has been elaborated in a strict sense by the Apex court.

Let's see what has enabled the apex court to grant punishment for the contempt of itself:
Article 129 provides that the Supreme Court has power to punish for the contempt of itself, similar provisions has also been incorporated under article 142 of the constitution.
Now the question which has been addressed by the apex court, whether the supreme court has power to suspend the license or debar advocate from practicing law in India ?
Supreme Court has been empowered under article 129 and 142(2) of the constitution to punish for its contempt.

The Supreme court in accordance with the provisions of Article 145 has framed rules and the practice and procedural guidelines, In Supreme court Rules 2013 Order 4 Rule 5 has prescribed the eligibility of supreme court advocate on record. This rule enables the apex court who can practice before itself, further in reading with rule 10 of order 4, supreme court has laid and been powered to suspend or remove the advocate on record being a privilege member of Supreme court, where such advocate is guilty of misconduct.

The word misconduct has to be look into in consonance of the facts of the case.

But the question remain stand in toto whether the supreme court in terms of article 129 read with art 142(2) of constitution, Rule 10 of Order 4 of Supreme court rules, can suspend or debar the advocate from practice not even from its own court but from its subordinate courts as well?

The answer seems to be in negative.
An advocate under chapter 5 of advocate act 1961 can be punished for the professional misconduct.
What is professional misconduct has to be looked into in regard to the advocate and his client.
Where advocate has been found guilty of professional misconduct disciplinary actions can be taken against him under advocates' act 1961, he can be suspended or debarred from practicing law by the committee.

The adjudication of Disciplinary committee can be challenged before Bar council of India which lead to second appellate authority i.e. supreme court under sec 38 of advocates act, 1961
Hence Supreme Court by virtue of advocates act has been conferred upon to look into the suspension or debar of advocate. But when the concern is of contempt of itself apex court has to look as per art 129 and art 142(2) of the constitution, which somewhere supreme court has itself restricted by the rules of 2013. Hence Supreme court taking contempt of court act, and advocates act as a guide can impose such a punishment as it may deems fit but only in respect to debarring the advocate from its own court and not its subordinate courts.

Advocate is an officer of the court, his duty is preliminary to the court and then to his client in order to reach justice, any conduct which led to loose the confidence of the institution of justice will led to misconduct. Hence the object behind framing of the art 129 , 142 and 215 is to retain confidence of the people of india in judicial institution.

The Legislature has framed the contempt of court act 1961 which provides for civil contempt and criminal contempt jurisdiction to the high court and its subordinate court but the power of high court under article 215 is unfettered. The high court has to exercise its jurisdiction in respect to contempt of court in accordance with the procedure envisaged by the act of 1971, the legislation has empowered high court to punish for the contempt of subordinate court whereas for the Supreme Court it is the rules to regulate proceedings for contempt of the Supreme Court, 1975'

As closing remarks it could be said that Powers of Supreme Court as well as high court being court of record is unfettered for punishment for contempt of itself, But only the close infirmity of words misconduct and professional misconduct separate the jurisdiction of the courts for imposing punishment.

  1. Constitution of India.
  2. Supreme Court bar Assn. V/s UOI AIR 1988 SC
  3. Contempt of Court Act, 1971
  4. Advocates Act 1961
  5. Supreme Court Rules 2013
  6. The rules to regulate proceedings for contempt of the supreme court, 1975

    Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Siddharth Jain
    Awarded certificate of Excellence
    Authentication No: MR207625690977-17-0322

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