An advocate who was appearing for a bail matter before a bench of the Gujarat High Court on Thursday was found smoking in his car while attending the virtual proceedings by the judge presiding over the matter.
Following this, the high court has directed the Bar Council of Gujarat and the Bar Association of the High Court to inform member advocates to attend virtual proceedings from either their residences or their office space. A penalty of Rs 10,000 has also been imposed on Advocate J V Ajmera for his transgression, and he has been directed to deposit the amount to the registry within a period of one week.
Advocate Ajmera, who was representing the original complainant of the FIR registered in Savarkundla police station of Amreli, “was smoking while sitting in the car,” a high court order noted. Justice AS Supehia recorded in his order that the court “seriously deprecates such conduct of the advocate…It was not expected from an advocate to be smoking in the car during court proceedings…such behaviour…is required to be strictly condemned.”
The court has now directed the registrar (judicial) to initiate appropriate proceedings and to submit a report within a period of 10 days to the court.
The court while directing the Bar Council of Gujarat and the Bar Association of High Court to inform its member advocates to attend virtual proceedings from either their residences or office space, forbid them from attending the proceedings “from open grounds or from a vehicle”. “While attending the proceedings from their respective residences/offices, they shall also maintain appropriate sitting posture while addressing the court,” Justice Supehia directed.
The case pertains to fraud in disbursement of loan for cotton bales where four persons were named as accused in an FIR with offences under IPC sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating), 465, 467, 471 (forgery), 120B (criminal conspiracy).
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