Man Defames Courts On Social Sites, Gets Jail – Times of India – 2-Dec-2014
December 4, 2014 - Uncategorized
The Bombay high court on Monday sentenced a man to one month simple imprisonment after holding him guilty of criminal contempt of court for posting defamatory material against the judicial system on social networking sites.
“Time has come. The courts will have to take a strict view,” said a division bench of Justices V M Kanade and Anuja Prabhudessai. “We have come to the conclusion that you have committed contempt of court,” they told Dwarka Hiranandani (56). The judges said they were sentencing him to a month although the maximum sentence under The Contempt of Courts Act is six months’ imprisonment.
But they acknowledged his right to appeal against the order in the Supreme Court, and added that until then, their order was not be executed. They directed the state to take him into custody after the appeal period was over, and if there was no stay by the apex court. “You don’t have any right to scandalize the judiciary. You cannot make such allegations,” the judges told Hiranandani, who urged the bench to show mercy to him, saying he was the victim.
The court allowed a criminal contempt petition filed by Hiranandani’s sister-in-law Anita against him, his wife Duru and son Sunil in their dispute over a flat at Lokhandwala, Andheri (W). Her petition said the HC had transferred Hiranandani’s civil suit to the city civil court but he had been making scandalous allegations against not only the judges and the judicial system, but even advocates who appeared in the matter in writing and on the Internet.
The advocate-general on December 2013 granted her permission to invoke The Contempt of Courts Act. In January 2014, a magistrate noted there was “continuous maligning of the judicial system”.
Hiranandani countered that after the civil suit was transferred to the lower court, criminal cases were filed against him, leading him to lose faith in the judiciary. He claimed that he was the flat owner.
Anita’s advocate, H S Shripad Murthy, submitted that unless action was taken against Hiranandani, he was unlikely to stop repeating the allegations. At a previous hearing, Murthy said Anita did not want to press contempt charges against Duru, a housewife, and Sunil, who works abroad, as their actions were at Hiranandani’s behest.