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A Supreme Court bench of Justices RF Nariman and Vineet Saran today barred advocate Matthews Nedumpara from practising in the Supreme Court for one year and sentenced him to three months’ imprisonment with a caveat that the sentence will remain suspended as long as he abides by his undertaking that he will not attempt to browbeat any judge of the Supreme Court or the Bombay High Court.

On March 11, the same bench had found Nedumpara guilty of contempt of court and given him two weeks to reply to decide the punishment to be awarded to him. The advocate had, on two occasions, riled the judges by making remarks against senior lawyers and even judges. Before a bench led by Justice RF Nariman, Nedumpara had named the judge’s father, Fali S Nariman, while arguing against the practice of senior advocate designation.

During the hearing today, Justice RF Nariman asked Nedumpara if the matter was issue-based or person-based. Justice Nariman further said that Justice UU Lalit’s father is also practising in the Supreme Court and the petitioner’s failure to raise his name shows that the matter is person-based. The bench also took cognisance of a letter by the Bombay Bar Association which states that Nedumpara and another advocate have been acting in tandem to make comments about the bench, and Justice RF Nariman in particular. To this, Nedumpara said: “I totally disown and dissociate with them.” Justice RF Nariman, speaking in the same vein, told Nedumpara: “You have been disowned by everyone as well.”

–India Legal Bureau

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