Question: Discuss the offence of Contempt of Court mentioning its essential ingredients. Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Discuss the offence of Contempt of Court mentioning its essential ingredients.] Answer Section 228. Intentional insult or interruption to public servant sitting in judicial proceedings.— Whoever intentionally offers any insult, or causes any interruption to… Read More »

Question: Discuss the offence of Contempt of Court mentioning its essential ingredients. Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Discuss the offence of Contempt of Court mentioning its essential ingredients.] Answer Section 228. Intentional insult or interruption to public servant sitting in judicial proceedings.— Whoever intentionally offers any insult, or causes any interruption to any public servant, while such public servant is sitting in any stage of a...

Question: Discuss the offence of Contempt of Court mentioning its essential ingredients.

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Discuss the offence of Contempt of Court mentioning its essential ingredients.]

Answer

Section 228. Intentional insult or interruption to public servant sitting in judicial proceedings.— Whoever intentionally offers any insult, or causes any interruption to any public servant, while such public servant is sitting in any stage of a judicial proceeding, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

Section 228 makes an intentional insult to a judge or interruption of court proceedings. The offence under section 228 is not punishable as contempt of court. But the definition of criminal contempt in s 2(c) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 is wide enough and is not limited to the offering of intentional insult to the judge or interruption of the judicial proceedings.

The essential ingredients of the offence under section 228 are:

  1. intention to insult a public servant or to interrupt judicial proceeding;
  2. insult or interruption to a public servant, and
  3. the public servant insulted or interrupted must be sitting in any stage of a judicial proceeding.

The object of the proceedings is to deter persons from heaping indignities on a public servant, who is discharging judicial functions. Insult or interruption to a public servant sitting in a judicial proceeding must be intentional.

Any innocent insult or insult or interruption of trivial nature does not amount to an offence under s 228. The question of whether an insult offered to a public servant is intentional or not, however, depends upon the facts and circumstances of the case at hand and it is neither necessary nor advisable to lay down any hard and fast rule.

In the case of Debendra Nath Maitra v. Emperor, 52 Cal WN 336, wherein A. N. Sen, J. has held that in order to constitute an offence under Section 228 Indian Penal Code, the insult or interruption must be intentional and that the offence of contempt as envisaged under Section 228 Indian Penal Code is a peculiar one and the court should be extremely careful when convicting persons of this offence to satisfy itself that there was any intentional insult or interruption.

In Bathma Ramakrishna Reddy v. State of Andhra Pradesh [AIR 1959 SC 102], the publisher and the managing editor of a Telugu weekly called Praja Rajyam wrote a derogatory piece about a sub-magistrate. He stated that the sub-magistrate concerned had either taken bribes or had put the litigants to undue harassment. A contempt notice was issued to him. The SC observed that:

This would be clear from the language of the section which uses the word ‘where such contempt is an offence’ and does not say ‘where the act alleged to constitute such contempt is an offence’. In this case, the conviction of the accused for contempt of court was upheld by the Supreme Court.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

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Updated On 2021-07-18T13:04:36+05:30
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