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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Supreme Court acquits Haryana advocate held in contempt case

The Supreme Court has set aside a Punjab and Haryana high court verdict holding a lawyer, Maneesh Vashistha from Narnaul in Haryana, guilty of contempt for a Facebook post he wrote against a HC judge and his judgement.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2018 22:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
In a Facebook post in September 2017, the lawyer, Maneesh Vashistha, had termed a judgement by a Punjab and Haryana high court judge in his case as incorrect.
In a Facebook post in September 2017, the lawyer, Maneesh Vashistha, had termed a judgement by a Punjab and Haryana high court judge in his case as incorrect.(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)
         

The Supreme Court has set aside a Punjab and Haryana high court verdict holding a lawyer guilty of contempt for a Facebook post he wrote against a HC judge and his judgement.

A bench led by Justice AK Sikri allowed the appeal filed by Maneesh Vashistha, an advocate from Narnaul, Haryana, who was sentenced to one month in jail by the HC.

“We have gone through the matter in detail and are of the view that it was not a case where the contempt action should have been taken against the appellant who is an advocate. We thus allow this appeal and set aside the impugned order passed by the high court,” the top court ruled.

The HC had, on its own, initiated contempt proceedings against Vashistha and held him guilty of contemptuous conduct on May 31. In a Facebook post in September 2017, the lawyer had termed a judgement by a HC judge in his case as incorrect.

A former president of the Narnaul Bar Association, Vashistha had also criticised the judge for not uploading the order even a week after the pronouncement. The delay, Vashistha claimed, must have been because of the judge’s inability to understand what he had delivered. The lawyer also posted against a magistrate, saying that he could have a written a better judgement.

In its judgement, the HC noted that Vashistha had sent confidential letters to the district and sessions judge while the latter was hearing a matter involving the lawyer. The judge concerned had recused himself, though he had not sent any contempt reference to “maintain harmonious relationship between the bar and the bench.”

First Published: Nov 15, 2018 22:43 IST

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