The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Lawyer sent to jail from court

New Delhi, Aug. 26: The Supreme Court today sent a lawyer to the high-security Tihar jail straight from the courtroom for contempt of court.

Lawyer Haridwar Pandey had sought that a particular court not hear his case as he had no hopes of getting justice from it and that the chief justice should assign it to some other court.

A division bench of Justices G.B. Pattanaik and Ruma Pal found the lawyer’s argument objectionable and lowering the majesty of justice and the dignity of the justice delivery system.

In a brief order, the court said Pandey should be straightaway taken to jail from where he should file his reply for charges under Section 14 of the Contempt of Court Act. After that, his trial would begin for contempt.

The moment the order was dictated in the courtroom, Pandey was dragged by a policeman waiting just outside and driven to jail.

Pandey was arguing a criminal writ (no. 20133 of 2001) and by circulation he stated that the “Hon’ble Chief Justice of India direct the registry office that the above case may not be listed in the bench of Hon’ble Justice G.B. Pattanaik and Hon’ble Justice Ruma Pal”.

He also stated in the circulation note that the case was filed under Article 32 of the Constitution with a request to be heard by a Constitution bench “not having those two hon’ble judges as the member in that Constitution bench”.

He said he was 74 and suffering from so many “fatal diseases”. But due to “unrealistic and biased” order of the two judges dated September 7, 2001, he was sent to jail “at this old age of 74 years”.

Pandey said the judges said they would arrest him and put him in jail. He sought an inquiry on why his case was pending for 25 years and “whether the dismissal orders are justified in the facts and circumstances of this 25 year old proceeding”.

Pandey had brought a petition based on newspaper reports quoting former chief justice S.P. Bharucha’s reported remarks of “graft in judiciary”.

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