In a ruling on Friday the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court sentenced 24 lawyers to jail for contempt of court cases. The bench, however, postponed the execution of the sentence for three months.
The convicts, as per the verdict on the matter, will also have pay a fine of INR 1,000/. Only one of the 24 lawyers – Harjeet Singh, will require spending one month in jail. The others will have to spend up to three months in jail as per court order. Embarrassingly, Ghanashyam Agnihotri, the district bar association secretary, was fined INR 2000/ in a second case.
All the convicted lawyers practice in Lakhimpur, Kheri.
The court let off one Sandeep Singh for lack of evidence about his involvement. These advocates were under the trial following a reference by in-charge chief judicial magistrate RK Shukla.
Agitated over this, a group of lawyers led by Harjeet Singh had stormed into the court and took it to ransom on October 21, 2011. In a related incident, the advocates allegedly misbehaved with a district judge
“No judicial system can tolerate such an ignoble act and conduct of practicing advocates,” the bench comprising justice Imtiaz Murtaza and justice DK Upadhyaya, noted.