A division bench of Justice Sonia Gokani and NV Anjarai has sentenced Yatin Oza with a fine of Rs2,000 and punishment till the court rises in a suo motu contempt case.
Oza is the president of the Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association (GHCAA) and the punishment is in connection with a suo motu contempt case.
The bench said if Oza defaults on payment he will be liable to two months imprisonment. The sentence however has been stayed to allow Oza to appeal against the order.
Oza had called the court a gambling den during a press conference held on Facebook Live on June 6. The division bench of Justices Sonia Gokani and N V Anjaria on Tuesday held Oza guilty of criminal contempt. His sentencing was pronounced on Wednesday.
After the remark, Oza had apologised but the high court refused to accept his unconditional apology. He was also stripped of his senior advocate designation for the remark made against the court.
The Supreme Court had on June 16 refused to entertain his plea against the contempt proceedings, saying he should go back to the HC.
The Gujarat high court initiated a suo motu contempt proceedings against Oza for calling it a gambling den and an institution which caters only to the litigants with means and money power, smugglers and those who are traitors.
The court termed his remarks as extremely unfortunate and unpalatable. The court said Yatin Oza made false and contemptuous allegations of corruption, malpractices against the administration of the High Court.
The full court of the Gujarat HC had recently rejected his apology. It had also rejected his request to re-confer him his previous designation as a senior advocate.
What the court said about Yatin Oza’s remark
The court said Yatin Oza made the critical remarks to spread sensationalism and said such remarks appear to have been made without any substantive basis and without any intent to know the truth as also without approaching the honourable Chief Justice for any inquiry as the head of the institution.
“The President of the bar has, by his scandalous expressions and indiscriminate as well as baseless utterances, has attempted to cause serious damage to the prestige and majesty of the High Court and thereby of an independent judiciary,” the court said.
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