Gujarat HC rejects Advocate Yatin Oza’s unconditional apology
Stating that the apology lacks sincerity, a Division Bench of the Gujarat High Court rejected an unconditional apology tendered by Advocate Yatin Oza over his remarks regarding functioning of the High Court as well as its Registry.
In a contempt proceeding initiated against Advocate Yatin Oza (Suo Motu v. Yatin Narendra Oza), a Full Court rejected the apology tendered by him on a plea to reconsider the withdrawal of his Senior Advocate designation over the issue.
In an online interview Advocate Yatin Oza levelled corruption allegations against the Registry of Gujarat High Court, following which a suo moto contempt case was registered by the High Court. The Court stated,
"We are dismayed at the manner in which the entire meeting was conducted which also gives a glimpse of impunity with which the possibility of notice of contempt and contempt action were also referred to before the media persons, it can be prima facie noticed that this entire sequence of events is bereft of any emotional outburst and contrarily, appears prima facie to be more guided by a definite and purposive object of attacking the Institute."
Advocate Oza had challenged the contempt proceeding before the Apex Court, however, the Court declined to interfere in the matter.
He tendered an unconditional apology before the High Court on August 10, 2020 following which, the Court provided him an opportunity of being heard.
While rejecting the apology, the Division Bench comprising of Justices Sonia Gokani and NV Anjaria concluded,
"We are neither satisfied with the genuineness of apology tendered before this court nor convinced of its bona fide nature of such apology and therefore, choose not to accept the same, and to discharge the respondent at this stage of proceedings."
The Court further observed,
"It is the knowledge of even a commoner that dispensation of justice is not the function of registry but of the judges exclusively and when serious announcements are made of doors of justice being closed for all others except only rich and resourceful litigants, irreparable and irreversible damage is prima facie caused. It is to be reminded that the registry carries on the function as an effective part and administrative arm of the justice delivery system."
The Bench referred to the case of LD Jaikwal v. State of UP and made an observation that Advocates and other persons have a freedom of expression, however, the opinions must be expressed in a dignified manner and respectful language.
The matter is listed for September 17.