The Gauhati High Court awarded Advocate Utpal Goswami six months in prison for contempt of court for making disparaging statements about an Additional District Judge, including remarking on her dress.
For 15 days, the division bench of Justice Kalyan Rai Surana and Justice Devashis Baruah barred him from standing as an attorney in any Court within the High Court's jurisdiction.
It observed,“….the respondent-contemnor has not only made an unfounded vitriolic attack on the integrity and impartiality of the learned judicial official concerned but has also embarked upon character assassination of the said judicial officer. Moreover, the petitioner had also attacked this Court by making disparaging remarks on the selection process of judicial officers by questioning the sanctity of the selection process. The respondent-contemnor has questioned the sanctity of the selection of the judicial officer in the District Judiciary of the State by the Selection Committee of the Gauhati High Court by specifically referring to the “power of money”, “mal-administration”, “taking of undue advantages”, “unlawful relationship”, “predominance of illegal love and affections” and “other wrong practices” during “selection and appointment of judges and magistrates of the district judiciary in Assam.”
The bench was of the opinion that such statements by a mature person of 52 years would incite other members of the Bar all throughout the country to adopt rude and threatening language towards judges whenever negative rulings were issued in their favour.
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