TN lawyer uses abusive word during virtual hearing, gets fined by judge

The lawyer was allegedly standing on the road and arguing a bail petition when the incident occured.
Lawyer working
Lawyer working
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The Thoothukudi District Court on Tuesday fined a lawyer for ‘insulting the Principal District Judge’ during a hearing. The lawyer explained that his insults were not directed at the court, but instead at a car that was being driven rashly on the road. This argument was, however, not accepted by the court.

Since courts have been shut due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown, cases are being heard through video conferencing using apps like Vidyo and WhatsApp. The incident in question took place on Monday, June 8, when the district court was hearing bail applications, held through WhatsApp video call. 

Around 11.45 am, the lawyer who was appearing on behalf of an accused uttered unparliamentary words during the call the judge and other parties present during the hearing, including the Public Prosecutor, stenographer, protocol officer and the system analyst. The lawyer was allegedly standing on the road and arguing for the bail applicant when he shouted at a car, which was being driven rashly. 

As three witnesses who were present when the incident took place submitted reports on it, the court sent the lawyer a show cause notice on the issue. However, the court was not satisfied with the response given by the lawyer in his defense and deemed the outburst an intentional insult. 

“This court is of the view even an uneducated village man will not utter the above said filthy language in a public place and the uncivilised, offensive, intimatory words used... clearly shows that he has prima facie committed the offence in the judicial proceedings,” the order stated. 

The court imposed a fine of Rs 200 on the lawyer under section 228 [Intentional insult or interruption to public servant sitting in judicial proceeding] of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), read with section 345 [Procedure in cases of contempt] of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

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