The Madras High Court convicted Advocate Adikesavan in a suo motu contempt case.
On 31.03.2021, when the Inspector of Police, D-2, Anna Salai Police Station and his team tried to execute the warrant of this Court, Mr.P.R.Adikesavan, Advocate and Mr.Balasubramanian, Advocate, had restrained the police from discharging their duties along with 50 other Advocates, who had gheraoed the police and prevented them from executing the orders of this Court
The division bench of Justice P.N. Prakash and Justice A.A. Nakkiran found from the records that PTAJ had directed the issuance of a non bailable warrant by order with a further direction that Adikesavan be produced before her. PTAJ has passed the following order: “The learned Government Pleader appearing for the Public Prosecutor’s office would seek further time for executing the nonbailable warrant. Time is granted till 09.04.2021.”
The court observed that it is factually incorrect to say that the police had no authority or direction to apprehend Adikesavan for his production before PTAJ. Under Section 23 of the Chennai City Police Act, 1888, it is the duty of every police officer to execute all orders and warrants lawfully issued to him. As a practising advocate, Adikesavan is expected to know this legal provision.
The court noted that the police spotted him in a tea shop right opposite the High Court which was a working day for the High Court and PTAJ was holding Court and therefore, they wanted to take him and produce him before PTAJ in execution of the warrant issued by her, because, the law states that the person arrested on a warrant should be produced before the Court that had issued the warrant without delay.
The court said that Adikesavan could have just accompanied the police along with his advocates to the police station where after making necessary entry in the General Diary in the nearby Flower Bazaar Police Station, he would have been produced before PTAJ before whom he could have pleaded for release. Instead, Adikesavan has played fraud on Balasubramanian by not disclosing the truth and had collected a huge number of advocates to prevent the police from performing their duty of executing the lawful order of the Court.
The court sentenced Adikesavan to undergo two weeks simple imprisonment and pay a fine of Rs.2,000/-, in default to undergo one week simple imprisonment.
The court directed that Adikesavan shall not practise in the Madras High Court for a period of one year from the date of the order.
The court said that it is fortified in holding so, in the light of the law laid down by the Supreme Court in R.K.Anand vs. Registrar, Delhi High Court, wherein, it has been held that a direction of this kind by the Court cannot be equated with punishment for professional misconduct. Further, the prohibition against appearance in courts does not affect the right of the lawyer concerned to carry on his legal practice in other ways as indicated in the decision.
Case title: The Registrar General High Court, Madras v/s P.R. Adikesavan and Balasubramanian
Citation: Suo Motu Crl. Contempt Petition No.866 of 2021
Tags- Advocates, contempt, warrant, execution, jurishour, law,