Contempt of Court
- Posted By
Polity & Governance
4th Aug, 2020
- Contempt of court is a concept that seeks to protect judicial institutions from motivated attacks and unwarranted criticism, and as a legal mechanism to punish those who lower its authority.
- Article 129 of the Constitution conferred on the Supreme Court the power to punish contempt of itself.
- Article 215 conferred a corresponding power on the High Courts.
- It is one of the restrictions on freedom of speech and expression under Indian Constitution
- The punishment for contempt of court is simple imprisonment for a term up to six months and/or a fine of up to Rs. 2,000.
- Civil contempt is committed when someone wilfully disobeys a court order, or wilfully breaches an undertaking given to court.
- Criminal contempt consists of three forms:
- Words, signs and actions that “scandalize” or “lower” the authority of any court.
- Prejudices or interferes with any judicial proceeding.
- Interferes with or obstructs the administration of justice.
- Fair and accurate reporting of judicial proceedings and fair criticism on the merits of a judicial order after a case is heard and disposed of will not amount to contempt of court.
- The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 was amended in 2006 to introduce truth as a valid defence against a charge of contempt, if it was in public interest and was invoked in a bona fide manner.
Verifying, please be patient.