The Delhi High Court has issued a show cause notice to a man and asked why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him for levelling "unsubstantiated and whimsical" allegations against a high court judge and comparing her to a devil.
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula said the allegations by the appellant Naresh Sharma are distasteful and unacceptable and these averments are prima facie aimed at scandalising and lowering the authority of the court.
“In our opinion, the statements have been advanced with the malafide intention to interfere with the administration of justice. This court cannot disregard vilification of this magnitude against a judge of this court. There is fine line of distinction which separates critique from allegations fuelled by disdain and a hostile intent to scandalise the court," the division bench said in an August 31 order which was released on September 6.
"The pleadings in the present appeal amount to the latter category and must be taken cognisance of,” the bench added.
The “objectionable and shocking” allegations were made by Sharma against a single judge of the high court in his appeal challenging a judgment delivered by the judge on his petition in July.
The single judge had rejected his plea for a probe into alleged corruption by the government since independence.
The division bench said he could not render an explanation for the averments made in the appeal.
“The present appeal contains unsubstantiated and whimsical allegations of criminal acts by learned single judge seeking the punishment of death penalty and a comparison of the judge to the devil, which is distasteful and unacceptable,” it said.
The bench said, “Considering the above, let notice be issued to the appellant, that is, Naresh Sharma, Punjab, to show-cause as to why proceedings for criminal contempt under Section 2(c) read with Section 12 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, should not be initiated against him. The notice shall indicate that, the appellant, shall file a reply to the show-cause notice, on or before the next date of hearing,” and listed the matter for further hearing on September 18."