Virender Kumar Jain, a senior advocate for around 24 years, has been issued a show-cause notice by the Punjab and Haryana high court as to why the status of the senior advocate conferred upon him in 1989 not be withdrawn for his alleged unprofessional behaviour in the court by entering into a verbal spat with the judge.
Perhaps this is for the first time in the history of the Punjab and Haryana high court that a senior advocate has been served such a notice.
Issuing the notice on Friday, the registrar (rules) has granted 15 days to the advocate to give his explanation. The notice mentions that on October 5, when Jain entered into a verbal spat with justice Rakesh Kumar Garg in the court, that too in a kurtapyjama, he had displayed unprofessional conduct unbecoming of an advocate.
However, the court headed by justice Rajive Bhalla on Friday also issued notice for criminal contempt of court to Jain on the same issue for filing his reply before November 6.
When contacted, Jain confirmed receipt of the notice around 10.45 am on Saturday. “In fact, the honourable judge committed the contempt of his own court. A suitable reply will be filed in the high court,” he said.
On being questioned about allegations against him in the show-cause notice, he replied, “Contents of the show-cause notice are correct to the extent that I was in kurta-pyjama in court and that security personnel had taken me into custody on the judge’s directions.”
He clarified, “It is also correct that I requested the judge as to why was he sending me to hospital, instead of to jail. On this, the judge remarked that he would send me to an asylum and called the registrar general.”
Defamation suit against judge
Jain had on October 9 filed the suit for recovery of Rs 100 as damages against justice Rakesh Kumar Garg, for causing “harassment, humiliation, insult and trauma”, before the Chandigarh district court, which was dismissed on October 10.
He had submitted, “Even a few crores of rupees cannot compensate such a loss …Yet the plaintiff is restricting his token claim of damages as Rs 100 (cost of filing the petition).”
The petition reads, “…defendant no. 1 (Justice Garg) acting as a judge, ordered the arrest of the plaintiff (Jain) and described the plaintiff as a mentally ill person.”
On being asked about further course of action, Jain expressed, “I’ll surely take appropriate proceedings after receiving the court order, which I haven’t received yet.”
He added, “It is unusual that arguments are heard on the same date and the judge perused the plaint minutely for 15 minutes and thereafter asked the plaintiff to prove maintainability of the suit.”
It was for the defendant (justice Garg) to raise the question of maintainability or the defendant might admit claim in the suit, Jain reasoned.
Who is Jain?
Brother of retired chief justice NC Jain, Virender Kumar Jain started his career as an advocate at Karnal in 1973, shifted to the high court in 1976 and was designated as senior advocate in 1989. He was appointed additional advocate general in Haryana in 1991 and served there for some time. His name was recommended for elevation as a judge of the high court twice in 1991 and 1993 but could not be cleared.