Chapter

The Sword of Damocles

O. Chinnappa Reddy

in The Court and the Constitution of India

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780198066286
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081462 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198066286.003.0028
The Sword of Damocles

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In India, contempt of court is an instrument which the people themselves have given the courts by recognizing and vesting such power in the Supreme Court and the high courts by Articles 129 and 215 of the Constitution, respectively. The importance of affording protection to judges was recognized by the Constitution makers who while giving full freedom of speech to the members of Parliament provided an Article 121 that there should be no discussion in Parliament with reference to the conduct of any judge of the Supreme Court or of a high court in the discharge of his duties except upon a motion for presenting an address to the president praying for the removal of the judge. Contempt of court is a concept which is a legacy of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence. This chapter examines civil contempt, criminal contempt, trial by media, Lord Denning's views on trial by media, the opinion of the European Court on Human Rights about contempt of court, and some interesting cases related to contempt.

Keywords: India; Constitution; Supreme Court; contempt of court; judges; jurisprudence; trial by media; Lord Denning; European Court on Human Rights; Parliament

Chapter.  5849 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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