The Gujarat High Court has issued a notice to senior advocate and Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association (GHCAA) president Yatin Oza for criminal contempt.
The notice was issued for Oza’s scathing attack on the high court administration of allegedly being “biased” and running a “gambling den that caters only to the litigants with means and money power”. The court has sought a reply from Oza in the mater by June 16, and in the meantime, restrained him from making any scandalous remarks or holding an official meeting.
The division bench also pointed out that it deems appropriate to place the issue before the Chief Justice for consideration of the full court whether to take away the senior advocate designation awarded to Oza.
Notably, the court was miffed with the allegations made by Oza against the high court administration and judges. The senior advocate, during a press conference, has alleged that corrupt practices were adopted by the registry of the high court; undue favour was given to high-profile industrialists, smugglers and traitors; the high court functioning is for influential and rich people and their advocates; and billionaires walk away with orders from the high court in two days whereas the poor and non VIPs need to suffer.
The bench noted: “The president (Oza) in his complete consciousness and with total responsibility as declared by him in his interview called this august institution a ‘Gambling den’ and an Institute which caters only to the litigants with means and money power, smugglers and those who are traitors. He also, for spreading sensationalism declared by his scandalous utterances that those who are not belonging to the big industrial houses or construction Industry or having innumerable means, the High Court would kick them away. These scurrilous remarks appear to have been made without any substantive basis and without any intent to know the truth as also without approaching the Honourable the Chief Justice for any inquiry as the Head of the Institution”.
The bench clarified that from March 24 to June 8, 5,039 matters have been filed including civil applications. Out of this, 3,147 matters have been registered and 8,182 matters have been listed and 4,057 matters have been disposed. The court pointed out that the majority of the disposed matters are of those who have “extremely meagre means”.
The court also remarked: “Without caring for the truth, riding on the wave of populism, he appears to have crossed all limits by condemning recklessly the Institution. Being fully aware that his actions and above-referred utterances are scandalous and capable of initiating proceedings of Contempt, he gave an open challenge to the authority of this Court in the very interview which is even worse than the very action”.