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The Supreme Court has held Advocate Mathew Nedumpara guilty of committing contempt. He has been given two weeks time to reply to decide the punishment to be meted out.

The court has also dismissed a petition filed by a group of lawyers questioning the current system of designating lawyers as senior lawyers.

The advocate had in the last week on two occasions riled the judges by making remarks against senior lawyers and even judges. Before a bench led by Justice Rohinton Nariman, Nedumpara had named judge’s father Fali S Nariman while arguing against the practice of senior advocate designation. Nedumpara was last week chastised by the apex court for referring to Nariman while trying to drive home the point that only sons and daughters of judges got the designation of senior advocate. Ironically, the case had come up before a bench presided over by Justice Nariman. “Why did you take the name of Fali S Nariman? Do you think you can get away [with it]? What did he get to do with the matter. We are warning you. Anyway, we are going to issue contempt notice to you,” Justice Nariman had told Nedumpara.

Last Wednesday, the Delhi High Court  had dismissed a plea that sought the disqualification of senior advocate Fali Nariman from appearing in the Supreme Court on grounds that his son Rohinton Nariman is a judge of the apex court. Nedumpara who filed the petition quoted the Bar Council of India Rules that deals with ‘Standards of Professional Conduct and Etiquette‘,  to argue that it must be read  as ‘the entire Court‘, and not the particular Court where the relative of a lawyer is a Presiding Judge. But a bench presided by HC Chief Justice Rajendra Menon said the court did not have power to amend an existing Rule.

—India Legal Bureau

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