NEW DELHI: Sending out a stern message to lawyers who often criticise judges, the Supreme Court on Wednesday sentenced lawyer Mathews J Nedumpara to three months in jail for contempt of court and for attempting to browbeat judges in a matter related to awarding of the ‘senior advocate’ designation.
A bench of Justices R F Nariman and Vineet Saran, however, suspended the sentence as the advocate tendered an unconditional apology and undertaking that he will never attempt to browbeat any judge, either in the Supreme Court or the Bombay High Court.
However, the bench barred Nedumpara from practising as an advocate in the SC for one year and also issued a fresh contempt notice to him and three others for scandalous allegations they made against both the judges of the bench.
It said serious allegations have been levelled against both the members of the bench in a letter received by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and other judges of the apex court.
It requested the CJI to constitute an appropriate bench to hear the fresh contempt issue.
Early this month, the court had held Nedumpara guilty of contempt for taking a senior lawyer’s name to allege that sons and daughters of judges were given priority in awarding the ‘senior advocate’ designation.
The top court had said that he attempted to browbeat the courts and his conduct deserved severe punishment.
The contempt case arose when he was arguing a petition filed by his organisation National Lawyers Campaign for Judicial Transparency and Reforms challenging the current system of designation.