The court has power to punish every person, body or authority found guilty of Contempt of Court. The Contempt jurisdiction is very wide.
The lawyer has to discharge certain duties towards the Court. But sometimes because of the nature of duties, the lawyers and judges may get into heated dialogue which may result in contempt of court.
Contempt by lawyers is the most pertinent problem before the Courts these days. There are several instances of misconduct, which have been taken as contempt of Court. For example, using insulting language against the judge, making scandalous allegations against a judge, suppressing the facts to obtain favorable order, allegation of partiality and and unfairness against the judge, etc. An advocate who advises his clients to disobey the Court is. Also held liable for contempt Courts. In Bar Council election attacking judiciary is also taken, at contempt of court if a council, advocate refuses to answer the question of the Court, is also liable for the contempt of court.
In Re Ajay Kumar Pandey, A.I.R. 1998 S.C.3299 the Supreme Court has held that an advocate using intemperate language and casting unwarranted aspersion (false report) on various judicial officers is equality of gross contempt of court for not getting expected results. Court awarded punishment of sentence to 4 months simple imprisonment and fine Rs.1000 /-
Supreme Court in this case warned that only because a lawyers appear as a party in Person, he does not get a license to submit content of court , by intimidating the judges or scandalizing the Court. An Advocate can use language either in pleading or during argument which is either intemperate or unparliamentary and which has tendency to interfere in the administration of justice and undermine the dignity of the Court.
In another case Re Vijay Chandra Mishra A.I.R., 1995, SC 2348
Supreme Court held that to resent (to show anger) the question asked by the judge to be disrespectful to him, to question is authority, to ask question, to shout at him, to threaten him with transfer and impeachment, to use insulting language, to abuse him to dictate order, such acts of advocate tends to prevent court from performing its Duty to administer the justice and hence, are instances of contempt of court.
Narain Das vs Government of Madhya Pradesh AIR 1974 SC 1252.
It has been held that if a wrong or misleading statement is deliberately and willfully made by the party to a litigation with a view to obtain a favourable order, it would prejudice or interfere with the due course of the judicial proceedings and thus amount to contempt.
In another case the Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay vs Shrimati Annattee Remond Uttanwala (1987) Cr LJ 1038.
An advocate was Personally engaged in earlier litigation involving a particular property and which has resulted in an eviction order against the client of the Advocate, who suppressed these fact in the pleading in subsequent proceeding brought by the wife of his client in respect of the same property and obtained an interim injunction restraining the Municipal Corporation from interfering with the possession of the wife. Bombay High Court held the Advocate guilty of contempt .
Justice Sawant of the Bombay High Court delivering the judgement observed that, "the contemner by suppressing the facts, had fraudulently obtained from the Courts favorable Orders and had thus prejudiced and interfered with the due course of the judicial proceeding and had also obstructed the administration of justice. That a false statement made to the court with a view to obtain a favorable order amounts to contempt of the Court.
Whether boycott of Court or Strike by lawyers amount to Contempt of Court is still a controversial issue.
Tarini Mohan of pleaders, A.I.R. 1923, Cal 212 :
In this old decided case Calcutta High Court held that the Bombay Council has no power to call strike of Lawyers and such call amount to contempt of court. It was observed that boycotting the Court, the advocates violets his duties not only towards the client but also towards the court. (See also...Duties of an Advocate towards a client)
Many great jurist India writing, expressed their view that there is no justification for the lawyers to boycott the Court are to participate. It is taken as professional misconduct.
Duties of an Advocate
Types of contempt of courts
Constitutional validity of the contempt of Courts Act, 1971
Punishment for Contempt of Court.