Madras high court imposes Rs 5 lakh cost on lawyer for perjury, initiates criminal contempt proceeding [13.10.2020]

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13.10.2020, Chennai

CHENNAI: Coming down heavily on an advocate who moved the Madras high court with false allegation that the registrar (vigilance) of the court had not completed Class XII in regular mode and, therefore, she was ineligible to hold the post, the HC on Monday imposed Rs 5 lakh as cost on him. The first bench of Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy also ordered initiation of criminal contempt of court proceeding against advocate B Sathish Kumar for perjury and debarred him from practising law pending disposal of the contempt plea.

“The cost shall be paid to registrar (vigilance) R Poornima within 15 days. If the petitioner fails to comply, the district collector of the place of residence of the petitioner is directed to recover the cost from him in appropriate manner and deposit the same with the high court,” the bench said.

The issue pertains to a plea moved by Sathish Kumar claiming that the registrar was ineligible to hold the post as she had not undergone the mandatory 10+2+3 formal/regular education required for appointment to public service.

When the plea came up for hearing, advocate Vijendran representing the petitioner submitted that the registrar had not completed Class XII but directly completed B Com through distance mode followed by LLB. Clearing Class XII in regular mode was mandatory for appointment to public service in Tamil Nadu, he added. To this, the bench asked the counsel as to what was the source of information that he relied upon to come to the conclusion that the registrar had not completed Class 12. While the petitioner could not substantiate his allegation, the bench summoned for the educational records of the registrar available with the HC. “From the records available with us, it is very clear that the registrar completed Class XII in Bethlehem Higher Secondary School, Ooty in April 1984,” the court said and even showed the original higher secondary certificate of the registrar.

The petitioner has moved this court with false allegation with an intention to defame the reputation of the registrar and the same amounts to perjury warranting criminal contempt of court action, the bench said. Reprimanding the petitioner going to the media even before the issue was taken up for hearing, the bench dismissed the petition.

14 Oct 2020