Posts tagged ‘contempt of courts’

What amounts to contempt of courts?

Contempt of Court may be Civil Contempt or Criminal Contempt. Civil Contempt means willful disobedience to any judgment, decree, direction etc., or a willful breach of an undertaking given to a court. Criminal Contempt means the publication of any matter or doing of any act which scandalizes or lowers the authority of any court; or which prejudices or interferes with the due course of any judicial proceeding; or interferes or obstructs the administration of justice. The Contempt of Courts Act 1971 defines and limits the powers of courts in punishing contempt of courts and regulates the procedure involved therein.

However a fair and accurate report of judicial proceedings does not amount to contempt. Similarly fair criticism of judicial acts and fair comment on the merits of any case, which has been heard and finally decided, also does not amount to contempt.

High Court is the competent court to punish contempt of courts subordinate to it and also of itself. A contempt of court may be punished with simple imprisonment for a term, which may extend to six months or with fine, which may extend to two thousand rupees or with both. The limitation period for institution of any proceedings of contempt is one year from the date on which the contempt is alleged to have been committed.