Pay cost or face contempt notice: SC raps lawyer for not depositing fine imposed on him

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New Delhi, Jul 9 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Tuesday rapped an advocate for not depositing a cost of Rs 50,000 imposed on him for filing a "meritless" plea, and directed him to submit the amount within two weeks.

A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Augustine George Masih rejected the submission of the lawyer Ashok Pandey seeking more time to deposit the amount.

"You are a practising lawyer and despite your assurance to the court to pay Rs 50,000 cost, you did not pay the money and thereafter went abroad. Now you cannot say that you can't pay cost. You pay the cost or we will issue contempt notice against you," the bench said. The lawyer submitted that he did not get any case since 2023 and his trip abroad was sponsored by his children.

The bench refused to accept his submission and directed him to submit the amount.

The top court had on January 2, 2023 dismissed with a cost of Rs 50,000 his plea seeking a direction to not consider advocates practising in the apex court for judgeship in the high courts, saying it is "meritless" and a "complete wastage of judicial time".

It had observed there is nothing in the Constitution which prohibits lawyers practising in the top court to be appointed as a judge of the high courts.

Pandey had told the bench that as per his interpretation of Article 217 of the Constitution, a person who may have been enrolled with a state bar council and subsequently shifted practice to the apex court is ineligible to be appointed as a judge of that court.

Article 217 of the Constitution deals with appointment and conditions of the office of a judge of the high court.

Later, another bench of Justices B R Gavai and K V Viswanathan slammed Pandey for not depositing an amount of Rs 1 lakh imposed on him when he had challenged reinstatement of Lok Sabha membership of NCP MP Mohammed Faizal. PTI PKS PKS DV DV