Virtual Hearings: Gujarat High Court records unconditional apology of lawyer seen smoking in car, closes 'undesirable chapter' [Read Order]
"The Apex Court has addressed the lawyer as a gentleman, who has to maintain high standards of morality and unimpeachable sense of legal and ethical propriety", the Court reminded, while passing the o ...
Virtual Hearings: Gujarat High Court records unconditional apology of lawyer seen smoking in car, closes 'undesirable chapter' [Read Order]
Gujarat High Court

The Gujarat High Court has closed the 'undesirable chapter' of contempt proceedings against a lawyer who was seen smoking in a car during a Video Conferencing hearing while accepting the lawyer's unconditional apology.

Gujarat High Court
Advocate fined Rs 10,000 for smoking while sitting in a car and attending a video-conference proceeding before Gujarat High Court

The Single Judge Bench of Justice AS Supheia took note of his submission that he would not ever repeat the act again, and cited notable judgments of the Supreme Court on the issue of the propriety attached to the role of a legal practitioner.

"His apology is accepted by this Court with no hard feelings or malice."
Justice AS Supheia

Expressing a hope that such incidents would not occur again, the Court specified that its remarks to the Advocate should not be construed as adverse against him. The High Court also reiterated,

"The Apex Court has addressed the lawyer as a gentleman, who has to maintain high standards of morality and unimpeachable sense of legal and ethical propriety."

Gujarat High Court

Taking into account the long professional path before the Advocate, the Court exhorted him to be mindful of the Supreme Court's pronouncements on conduct in Re Vinay Chandra Mishra, R.D.Saxena v. Balram Prasad Sharma, and Devendra BhaiShanker Mehta v. Union of India.

In an earlier order reprimanding the lawyer, the Court had directed the Registrar, Judicial to tender a report on the subject of appropriate conduct by lawyers during hearings. On October 5, Justice Supheia instructed the Registry to forward this report to the Bar Council of Gujarat and the Gujarat High Court Advocates Association.

"Though, I cannot direct both the esteemed organizations to undertake necessary colloquium for its members, but I hope that the afore-noted observations of the Apex Court are conveyed so that such inopportune and regrettable incidents can be avoided", the High Court added.
Gujarat High Court
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After preliminary remarks on the Advocate's conduct, the Judge moved on to consider the case in which the lawyer had appeared as counsel, i.e. a bail application moved by a person accused of cheating and conspiracy.

Considering the applicant's lack of criminal antecedents, the fact that he had been in custody since August and the delays in filing the FIR, as well as the protracted investigation, the Court allowed him bail.

On these terms, the matter was disposed of.

Read the Order here:

Mansukhbhai Polabhai Dhaduk v. State of Gujarat - Order dated October 10, 2020.pdf
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