Monday, July 15, 2024

Delhi HC sentences litigant to jail for demanding death penalty for judge

The Delhi High Court has sentenced a litigant Naresh Sharma, who had sought the death penalty for the single judge for dismissing his pleas, to six months in jail.

A division bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Shailender Kaur found Sharma guilty of contempt of court and sentenced him to six months of simple imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 2,000.

In the event of non-payment of the fine, he will undergo an additional seven days of simple imprisonment, the court said.

The court further directed that Sharma be taken into custody and handed over to Tihar Jail immediately.

In his appeal against the single judge, Sharma had demanded that the judge be “criminally charged” for issuing a “meaningless, defamatory, criminal, seditious judgement”, and he even asked for the death penalty in his prayer.

The bench showed displeasure at Sharma’s allegations and said that as a responsible citizen, he should express his grievances in a civilized manner while maintaining the dignity of the court and the judicial process of law.

The court noted that despite receiving a show cause notice, Sharma filed a highly disrespectful reply, demonstrating that he had no remorse for his actions and stood by them.

Earlier, the court had declined the State counsel’s request for in-camera hearings for Sharma, who made whimsical and objectionable allegations against a judge of the court, saying that they (the court) have nothing to hide and that the very purpose is transparency of an open court.

The bench had refused to pass any gag order in the matter saying that the contemnor has the freedom of speech, and if he chooses to transgress the boundaries, there are proceedings in law.

Earlier, a division bench of Chief Justice Satish Charma and Justice Sanjeev Narula had deemed these allegations as “prima facie aimed at scandalising and lowering the authority of the Court” and that they were made with a “mala fide intention to interfere with the administration of justice”.

The bench had then issued a show-cause notice to Sharma, asking him to explain why proceedings for criminal contempt should not be initiated against the judge under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.

20231101155043

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