Ahmedabad, Oct 6 (PTI) The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday held advocate Yatin Oza guilty of criminal contempt in a suo motu case against him over his remark calling the court a 'gambling den'.
Oza is president of the Gujarat High Court Advocates' Association (GHCAA).
The division bench of Justices Sonia Gokani and N V Anjaria held Oza guilty of criminal contempt and reserved the pronouncement of sentence for Wednesday, said advocate Nisha Thaore, who appeared on behalf of the HC in the case.
The HC had earlier refused to accept the 'unconditional apology' rendered by Oza, who was also stripped of his 'senior advocate' designation for the remark made against the court in a press conference held on Facebook Live on June 6.
The Supreme Court had on June 16 refused to entertain his plea against the contempt proceedings, saying he should go back to the HC.
The HC had initiated suo motu criminal contempt proceedings against Oza for calling it a 'gambling den,' and an institution 'which caters only to the litigants with means and money power, smugglers and those who are traitors'.
The court had called his remarks 'extremely unfortunate and absolutely unpalatable.' The full court of the Gujarat HC had also recently rejected his apology made with the request to re-confer on him his previous designation as a senior advocate.
The full court had recalled its order conferring designation of senior advocate to Oza after taking note of his alleged remarks.
Initiating suo motu criminal contempt proceedings against Oza, the court said he made 'false and contemptuous allegations of corruption, malpractices against the administration of the High Court.' Oza made critical remarks to spread sensationalism, the court had observed while slapping him with the notice under sections 2(c) and section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act for criminal contempt on June 9.
It had said such 'remarks appear to have been made without any substantive basis and without any intent to know the truth as also without approaching the honourable Chief Justice for any inquiry as the head of the institution.' 'The President of the bar has, by his scandalous expressions and indiscriminate as well as baseless utterances, has attempted to cause serious damage to the prestige and majesty of the High Court and thereby of independent judiciary.
'He also attempted to lower the image of entire administration and also created demoralising effect amongst the administrative wing,' the court had said. PTI KA PD RSY RSY