Gujarat High Court on Tuesday held Gujarat High Court Advocates Association’s )GHCAA president Yatin Oza guilty of criminal contempt of court. The bench had posted the hearing of quantum of punishment today.
High Court took the suo moto cognizance of Oza’s statements made on May 5 through his Facebook live conference where he had alleged corruption on the part of HC’s registry. The order posted on the official website says:
“In view of the discussion above, this Court in exercise of powers conferred upon it under Article 215 of the Constitution of India and section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, holds the Respondent contemner (Oza) guilty of committing criminal contempt of this Court within the meaning of section 2(c)(i) of the Contempt of Courts Act,1971.”
In July, the full court of Gujarat HC withdrew his “senior advocate” designation and his apology was rejected by HC in August. He had also approached the Supreme Court who had refused to entertain his plea.
Justices Sonia Gokani and NV Anjaria rejected Oza’s apology while reasoning that his apology is not bona fide and lacked sincerity while noting that his past record reflects repeated acts and conduct of contempt including suo moto initiation of criminal contempt in 2006 and in 2016.
The court noted that he had levelled false and contemptuous allegations of corruption, malpractices against the administration of the High Court and called it a gambling den. He had also alleged the court registry of indulging in favouritism, nepotism, and forum shopping.
During his May 5 online conference, he also claimed that the High Court registry give preferential treatment to the rich, smugglers and traitors and would kick the poor away.
Gujarat High Court took the suo moto cognizance of the Oza’s allegations and stated that he had tried to damage the prestige and majesty of the High court and demoralize HC administrative wing.
The bench noted that the allegations were made without any inquiry and thereafter considered an inquiry by three judges to look into the Oza’s accusations about the HC registry’s functioning.
In June 2020, HC took suo moto cognizance of the allegations and issued a criminal contempt of court notice to Oza citing his allegations irresponsible, sensational, and intemperate.