S Mulgaonkar v Unknown (1978) case
- August 22, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Counsel has invoked the ‘Mulgaonkar principles’ in the criticism against the Supreme Court’s ruling that held advocate Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt of court.
- S Mulgaonkar v Unknown (1978) is a case that led to a landmark ruling on the subject of contempt.
- By a 2:1 majority, the court held Mulgaonkar, then editor of The Indian Express, not guilty of contempt although the same Bench had initiated the proceedings.
- Justices P Kailasam and Krishna Iyer formed the majority going against then Chief Justice of India M H Beg.
- Justice Iyer’scounsel of caution in exercising the contempt jurisdiction came to be called the Mulgaonkar principles.
- Justice Iyer said the first rule in the branch of power is a wise economy of use by the Court of this branch of its jurisdiction.
- The Court will act with seriousness and severity where justice is jeopardized by a gross and/or unfounded attack on the judges, where the attack is calculated to obstruct or destroy the judicial process.
- The court is willing to ignore, by a majestic liberalism, trifling and venial offenses-the dogs may bark, the caravan will pass. The court will not be prompted to act as a result of an easy irritability.
- He argued in favour of harmonizing the constitutional values of free criticism, the fourth estate included, and the need for a fearless curial process and its presiding functionary