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Former judge turns witness, advocate becomes accused

Santy George, who appeared as party-in-person, had argued that there was no contempt and it was illegal.

Published: 19th February 2020 06:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th February 2020 06:27 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: He had conducted many judicial proceedings in the court as a High Court judge in the past. In a role reversal, Justice B Kemal Pasha on Tuesday appeared in the court as a witness.The Kerala High Court on Tuesday witnessed the rare scene as Justice Kemal Pasha appeared as a witness in a contempt case against a lawyer. The High Court initiated contempt proceedings against the advocate for sending abusive letters to Kemal Pasha while he was a judge, using filthy language in a deliberate bid to threaten him. The court noted that the contents of letter were highly offensive and abusive.

Justice Kemal Pasha reached the chamber of the Chief Justice at 2.30pm and narrated the incidents. “As the matter is pending before the High Court, I could not speak anything with regard to the case,” said Justice Pasha.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly initiated proceedings against Santy George an advocate from Thiruvananthapuram. The advocate had filed a plea seeking to quash an FIR registered by  Vigilance Court, Thiruvananthapuram, against him which was heard and dismissed by Justice Pasha when the latter was a judge of the High Court.

The allegation against the advocate was that he had taken Rs 25000 from his client, who was an accused in a case heard by the District Sessions Court, by falsely claiming that it was for giving a bribe to the prosecutor in the case. Following this, Santy George sent a letter accusing the judge of having made a wrong decision. Besides, he used filthy language against the judge in the letter.

The HC while initiating action against the advocate found the contents in the letter amount to contempt of court (criminal). It observed that even if the judge has retired from service, it was a matter of interfering with the due course of judicial proceedings.

Santy George, who appeared as party-in-person, had argued that there was no contempt and it was illegal. He filed an application seeking to drop the entire proceedings against him.

The court in its order on January 30 observed that merits of the contentions by the advocate can be considered only after examination of witness and analysis of the evidence and decisions of the courts. At this juncture, suo motu proceedings initiated by the court cannot be said to be unconstitutional warranting dropping of the proceedings, the court said.

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