The Gujarat High Court, in its judgment holding president of Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association (GHAA) Yatin Oza guilty of contempt, said, “…the contempt committed is grave and of egregious nature which substantially interferes and/or it tends to substantially interfere in course of justice… Such utterances are shocking and undoubtedly potent to shake the confidence of the public in the institution of judiciary…”
The court took note of the fact that Oza chose to go to press with the allegations instead of the chief justice and that his tendering an apology to the court showed he did not stand by the utterances. It also stated that Oza chose to cut the tree that “sustained him”.
In an extraordinary general body meeting of GHAA Friday, 76 members of the bar expressed support for Oza. A general body meeting Thursday had resolved that the bar association should intervene in proceedings before the Supreme Court in the present litigation by Oza, challenging the high court’s decision to strip him off his senior advocate designation as well as in a future appeal against the Wednesday verdict where he was held guilty of being in criminal contempt.
A Division Bench of the high court on Wednesday sentenced Oza to a penalty of Rs 2,000 and punishment till the rising of the court after he was found guilty of committing criminal contempt of the court.
In the 150-page order on the contempt of court that was made public Friday, the court took Oza’s utterances as an attack on judges and not on the registry as Oza had claimed, The bench observed, “…these utterances cannot and simply did not mean only for the registry. When it comes to attacking the very dispensation of justice, it is always meant for the judiciary and the judges only and exclusively and surely not the registry…”
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