Before Tyabji, C. J. Constantine, Agha, Vellani and Muhammad Bachal, J.
Saved A. RAFIQUE and three others
Criminal Miscellaneous Case No. 45 of 1949, decided on 17th July, 1949.
Contempt of Courts Act (XII of 1926), S. 2-Bar Association Early-Resolution containing allegations against Chief Judge¬ Contempt-Contempt by Advocates-Serious view to be taken Recantation -Apology -Punishment – Humiliation involved sufficient.
” Any act done or writing published calculated to bring a Court or a judge of the Court into contempt, or lower his authority, is a contempt of Court. That is one class of contempt. Further, any act done or writing published calculated to obstruct or interfere with the due course of justice or the lawful process of the Courts is a contempt of Court. The former class belongs to the category which Lord Hardwicke, L. C. characterized as ` scandalizing a Court or a judge.’ That description of that class of contempt is to be taken subject to one and an important qualification. Judges and Courts are alike open to criticism, and if reasonable argument or expostulation is offered against any judicial act as contrary to law or the public good, no Court could or would treat that as contempt of Court.” [p. 76].
[Lord Russel in Reg v. Gray (1900) 2!Q. B. 36.]
A Resolution of the Karachi Bar Association asserted that by inflicting undeserved insults and persistently treating ” the members of the Bar in general and the displaced lawyers in particularin contemptuous manner, the Chief judge was making it impos¬sible for advocates to present their cases adequately and held out lie warning that in case of further repetition the Association ” will be forced to take measures which it sincerly wishes to avoid.” [p. 78].
Held that there can be no question about the imputations and threats contained in the resolution being such as were calculated to lower the authority of the Chief judge and this Court. It has not been argued and it would be impossible to argue that the matter published was merely a reasonable argument or expostulation against some particular judicial acts as being contrary to the law or to the public good. Lord Russel’s words in the case above referred to, immediately following the passage which has been cited.
“Now as I have said, no one has suggested that this is not a contempt of Court, and nobody has suggested, or could suggest, that it falls within the right of public criticism in the sense I have described. It is not criticism ; I repeat that it is personal scurrilous abuse of a judge as a judge. We have therefore to deal with it as a case of contempt and we have to deal with it brevi mane,” apply in the present case with at least as great a force as they did in that case. [p. 76].
Offences of contempt by advocates have ordinarily to he regarded seriously.
(In view, however, of unconditional apologies and categorical admissions by the advocates concerned that there was not the slightest justification for the allegations made in the resolution, and in view, further, of the early disassociation of one of the respondents from the resolution, and the humiliation involved in the recantation being sufficient punishment in the case of the other, notices of contempt were discharged in the case of both.)
Fatehchand Assudanral, Advocate-General for Crown.
Akhtar Adil, for Respondents 3 and 4.