General Sanjay Dutt—Mumbai Bomb Blasts Case (1993)

Does either the 'bandh' or the signature-campaign amount to contempt of court? Or could it be considered, by a somewhat stretched imagination, as an interference into the administration of Justice?

At a casual glance, the warning/caution by Mr. Nikam (Ld. Public Prosecutor for the State of Maharashtra in the above case) may seem correct—but a closer look at the Indian Laws will make you agree with me that “we may reasonably beg to differ with Mr. Nikam” because:-

1) The character of the “Accused” is a relevant & material circumstance in every judicial consideration of the quantum of sentence; hence, a signature campaign under the single banner-line “We, the undersigned, vouch for the good character of Mr. Sanjay Dutt--the Accused”, is not unlawful.

In fact, the said document may be filed in the concerned court on or before 12.12.2006, upon an Affidavit sworn by a person--who may swear to the effect that he has seen the signatories thereto signing the said document in his presence. This Affidavit is required for performing the formality of proving, on record of the case, the execution of the said document--the Ld. Court may thereby dispense with the oral evidence of the said Affiant and with oral evidence of good character of the Accused. This is all the more so, if the Prosecution imputes a bad character to the Accused.

2) The said document may also be used for another lawful purpose, viz. sending a copy thereof to the State Government—under a cover-letter which may seek instructions from the State to the Probation Officer (appointed by the State under the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958) to expeditiously send his/her Report to the concerned Court if a Report is asked for by the Ld. Court upon an Application having been moved by the Accused, before the said Court, for being released under section 4 of the said Act.

In the alternative, depending upon the quantum of sentence awarded, the Accused may apply for release u/s 3 of the said Act—that is to say, for release after due Admonition only. To that effect, too, the said document is lawfully relevant.

3) In law, if a layman acts upon the Legal Advice, then he does not commit any contempt of court. To this effect, the above opinion may be taken as my legal advice—I stand by it.

By the way, I had intervened not only to get the BJP’s support for Rahul Mahajan but also to suggest that the FIR against him was not maintainable at all. I am also the Counsel for Dr. Sahib Singh Verma--regarding the FIR registered in Jammu against him and Mr. Vinay Katiyar. In fact, the legal ground (to the effect that every ‘presumption’ of fact is REBUTTABLE) on which Sanjay Dutt was earlier granted Bail by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, was first hypothesised in my Article—copies of which were sent in advance to the Judges’ Library of the Supreme Court, too.
Prof. Gulshan Bajwa
Advocate-on-Record (Supreme Court of India)



Recommended Websites


Sikhi Vichar Forum (Malaysia)

Sikhi Gems