Gujarat HC Initiates Contempt Of Court Against Sr. Adv. Percy Kavina For Using Unparliamentary Language

The Gujarat High Court on 10th July, 2023, initiated suo motu contempt of court proceedings against Senior Advocate Percy Kavina, for using “unparliamentary” language against sitting judge, Justice Devan Desai on 7th July, 2023, while arguing a matter which was pending since 1979.

While initiating suo motu action against the senior lawyer for using ‘disparaging language’ against the judge, a Division Bench of Justices AS Supehia and MR Mengdey noted in its order: “The senior counsel used unparliamentary language by saying ‘arre sahab, kai toh sharam rakho’ (hey sir, have some shame). Apart from using the aforesaid expressions, we have also found that he used disparaging language against the single-judge, which has lowered the majesty and dignity of this institution.”

While the Bench was dictating the order on Monday morning, Kavina urged the judges not to initiate the proceedings, and instead to grant him an opportunity to speak to Justice Desai and express an unconditional apology for the said language. “A lot of back history exists in the case. If I used an intemperate language, I can say that after these proceedings commence, I will not have anything to say unless I try to justify my conduct. Therefore, I urge that before commencing these proceedings in a formal fashion, if an informal solution is possible, I would rather request your lordship to explore that and permit me to approach the concerned judge to tender my unconditional apology,” Kavina submitted.

The Bench accordingly allowed Kavina to approach Justice Desai to tender his apology. Subsequently, the Senior Advocate approached Justice Desai’s Bench and tendered his unconditional apology for using the language on July 7. Justice Desai took into account the apology tendered by Kavina, but did not record in his order whether or not he accepted the same. “This Court is of the opinion that what has happened on July 7, should not have been happened and the words used by senior counsel Percy Kavina were derogatory. Since the proposed suo-motu Contempt proceedings have not yet commenced, the senior counsel may request the concerned Division Bench for seeking unconditional apology,” Justice Desai said in his order passed on July 10.

With there being no clarity on whether Justice Desai has accepted Kavina’s apology, the Division Bench initiated the contempt of court proceedings against him. The matter will be next heard on July 17.

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