In Jeetendra Kumar Rajan v. TG Shivashankare Gowda, the Karnataka High Court rejected a batch of 11 contempt petitions submitted by one Jeetendra Kumar Rajan, concluding that he had prima facie exhibited criminal contempt of court. The approach in which the complainant filed contempt petitions was a menace to the judicial officers against whom the petitions were brought, according to a Division Bench of Justice B Veerappa and Justice MG Uma.
The petitioner has not established any grounds for initiating contempt charges against the defendants. He is abusing the judicial process, pestering judicial personnel, and squandering the Court’s valuable public judicial time; as a result, he must be dealt with harshly to maintain the Court’s majesty. The Court stated that “it is past time for this Court to defend the State’s judicial personnel,” since “otherwise, there will be no end to this type of speculative litigation in the years ahead.”
The petitioner had filed a series of writs against the Karnataka Department of Higher Education, Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), the Vice-Chancellor of the Karnataka State Law University (KSLU), and others. VTU denied the petitioner, who was enrolled in an engineering college, permission to attend his 7th and 8th-semester classes because he had a series of backlogs from previous semesters. He had also lodged writ petitions with the KSLU, requesting that they accept him to the law school.
This series of writ petitions were dismissed by Justice R Devdas, who stated that they lacked merit and that the petitioner was exploiting the Court’s process. The petitioner was also ordered by the Single Judge to deposit Rs. 1 lakh, failing which his future pleas in the High Court will be dismissed.
The petitioner then proceeded to submit the current batch of contempt petitions alleging disobedience of court orders against the Registrar General and Registrar (Judicial) of the Court. He alleged in the contempt petitions that the “whole understanding of the Registry” about the decision issued in the batch of writ petitions was that the issue could not be classified until the complainant paid a fee of one lakh rupees.
Recognizing the challenges faced by “virtually mentally disabled persons,” the Bench stated that courts must be attentive to them because they are not lawfully competent. In this instance, it was claimed that the High Court was overly sympathetic to the complaint, who was present as a party-in-person and granted him undue leniency. Despite this, he ignored the court’s advice and mistook its goodness for its flaw, it was noted.
Upon denying the requests, the Court determined that exploiting the court’s mechanism to hinder the appropriate behavior of legal proceedings is constituted contempt of the court. It imposed costs of Rs. 1 lakh for each petition, totaling Rs. 11 lakh to be paid to the Bengaluru Advocates Association.
The Registry was ordered not to publish any of the petitioner’s proceedings on the same cause of action unless he paid the sum of Rs. 11 lakh to the Registry. It further ordered the Registrar (Judicial) to take the appropriate steps to bring the petitioner into criminal contempt of court under Section 2(c) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.