The Apex Court has directed the Allahabad HC to continue with the contempt proceedings against the lawyer and litigant for allegedly resorting to ‘Bench Hunting”. The Bench comprising of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna observed that the contempt application should be taken to the logical conclusion while considering the above matter. They also took into site of an observation in an order of the High Court in some other case against the said lawyer.
The judge of the Allahabad High Court though reprimanded the lawyer for making such a submission, with a mere direction to Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh to look into the proper conduct of the lawyer. The judge observed that in the order:
“There is every reason to believe that such type of submission viz: of the counsel from Mumbai “-has been made only to avoid the hearing taking place. Only on the basis of the counsel for the applicant being from Mumbai, and I also coming from the Bombay High Court, it was not proper to suggest that the matter should not be taken up by this Bench. Advocates owe a duty not only to their client but also to the court.”
After this the other party in the case moved a contempt application against the litigant. The Single Judge of the High Court did not find any ground to initiate contempt proceedings and dismissed the contempt application in limina. Against the order of the dismissal, this party approached the Supreme Court and the Court gave an order in respect to this after hearing the parties.
Therefore, the Supreme court directed the Allahabad High court to restore the Contempt proceedings against the litigant lawyer for resorting to the contempt of the Court. This was the verdict of the Court with respect to the proccedings which took place directing the Allahabad High Court to proceed with the direction given by the highest court of record.