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Reviewing the Contempt of Court Law

NAME: Iesha Sharma

DESIGNATION: Law student



The law has reflected its importance several times now and then in society for serving the norms to conduct the citizens. It has also provided us with the proper guidelines to serve the order upon the behavior of all the citizens and to sustain the equity between the three branches of the government. Society is like a ‘web-relationship’ which also includes the alterations in the structure and to make the functioning of the citizens. The court is held to be the supporter of the law as being the general body of rules, of written or unwritten relation to the conduct of the members of the profession intended to guide them in ethical maintenance on certain basic standards of behaviorism. In which the conduct of law enforcement in the country is so outrageous that the due process of law and its principles would absolutely bar the government from adjudicating the judicial process.


Our constitutional scheme is linked upon the concept of rule of law which we have adopted and is given to ourselves. It is the understanding of the rule of law that has the drawn mixed interpretation of the Irish context and the process has been that it is the first feature in the judicial process that is to meet the supremacy of law. It is the supreme manifesto of human civilization and the global moral thoughts and the eternal values of the constitutional and inheritance attributes of democracy and good governance in India.

The rule of law is a dynamic concept which does not have the proper definition for its own. Even in the most autocratic forms of the government, there is some law the concept of rule of law is somewhere or the other embedded in the deep roots of the same. The rule of law has made the supremacy. In the government law and governance and had made the efficient way of delivery of justice. The means of the equality of law comes under the umbrella encompassing the procedural as well as the substantive elements of the threefold dimensions of justice and the rights of the individuals. The first principle of the supremacy of the law recognized a cardinal role of the democracy of every government that must be subject to the law.


The contempt of court is the medium through which the court can punish the individual who makes the act of the humiliation of lowering the dignity of the courts. This concept of the contempt of law is being generated through the British administration which originated from the undelivered judgment of the J Wilmot in 1765 where the judges said that the ‘contempt of law is necessary to maintain the dignity of the judges and to vindicate authority’. The contempt of the court act, 1971 was passed in a practical way and it actually beautified the idea of justice keeping the supremacy of the law which comes with the rule of law.

Our constitution has granted the Supreme Court and the high court the power under the competent of court the Articles 129 and Article 215 respectively. Section (2) of the interpretation clause elaborates that contempt of court means civil contempt or criminal contempt.

In the case Pratap Singh V. Ajit Prasad that the distinction between the civil and the criminal contempt seems to be that for the benefit of the party and while the criminal contempt of the court is the way to punish for the wrong not so much to a part but the public at large who interference in the normal process of the law and degree gating the majesty of the court.

In the case V. Jayarajan V. High Court of Kerala & Anr. The apex court, in this case, stated that the judges expect to be nay inviting an informed and genuine discussion or criticism of judgments but to incite a relatively illiterate audience against the judiciary it cannot be ignored.

The contempt of court act, 1971 has been enacted in order to remove the doubts which have come about the powers of a High Court. The law of contempt is the custodian of the seat of justice more than a person of the judge sitting in that area. Judicial decisions since the Contempt of Court Act, 1971, show the radical attitude of the judiciary. Only reckless and mala fide allegations, use of unbridled languages, and contemptible allegations of corruption were considered abhorrent. In such cases also the court found that the statement to be disrespectful not on the basis of mere inclination towards scandalization or tendency to lower the authority of the court, but because the statements were per se derogatory, scandalous, and contemptuous on the account of the court. Court has always laid down the decisions for the upliftment of judiciary as the central pillar and times when it has failed to do so are discussed in the next section. Thus, the foundation stone of the power of the judiciary for scrutinizing the virtue of jurisdiction is clearly laid down by the introduction of contempt power in Indian democratic society.


The main purpose behind the enactment of the Contempt Act is to judge fairly without any disruption and through this, it has created trust in the citizens. This power given to the judiciary should be used wisely and promptly with caution. The Contempt of Court Act, 1971 is still ambiguous at various aspects of law and there is a need to delineate its jurisdiction to maintain the supremacy of rule of law. The final question that is still unanswered is: how far the Indian courts have succeeded in the exquisite task of balancing the conflicting values-one, protecting the freedom of speech and expression as mentioned in the constitution, and others upholding the integrity and dignity of the court. Tolerance to criticism is merit and is a sign of maturity.

The best ammunition of a judge is his character of integrity, virtue, and learning. Any judge will hardly require the contempt power if the law of contempt can be more specified. This can be seen as the pragmatic face of the coin which when seen as that this power of the judiciary is looked at from the angle of rule of law then this is again a major point of concern.




  3. AIR 1966 All. 305

  4. Case (Crl.).No. 2 of 2010






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