8.                 Fair reporting:– (1) Subject to sub-section (2), the publication of a substantially accurate account of what has transpired in a court, or of legal proceedings, shall not constitute contempt of court.

(2)       The Court may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, in the interest of justice, prohibit the publication of information pertaining to legal proceedings.


9.         Personalized criticism: — (1) Subject  to the provisions of this Ordinance, personalized criticism of a specific judge, or judges, may constitute judicial contempt save and except true averment if made in good faith and in temperate language in a complaint made,

(a)      to the administrative superior of a judge of a subordinate court;

(b)      to a provincial government,

(c)      to the Chief justice of a High Court;

(d)      to the Supreme Court;

(e)      to the supreme judicial Council; or

(f)      to the Federal Government for examination and being forwarded to the supreme judicial Council;

(2)      Nothing contained in sub-section (1) is intended to deprive a judge of the right to file a suit for defamation.


10.      Fair comments:— The fair and healthy comments on a judgment involving question of public importance in a case which has finally been decided and is not longer pending shall not constitute contempt;

Provided that  it is phrased in temperate language and the integrity and impartiality of a judge is not impugned.


11.      Judicial contempt:— (1) A superior Court may take action in a case of judicial contempt on its own initiative or on information  laid before it by any person.

(2)      Any person laying false information relating to the commission of an alleged judicial contempt shall himself be liable to be proceeded against for contempt of court.

(3)      Judicial contempt proceedings initiated by a judge, or relating to a judge, shall not be heard by the said judge, by shall (Unless he is himself the Chief justice) be referred to the Chief  justice, who may her the same personally or refer it to some other judge, and in a case in which the judge himself is the Chief justice, shall be referred to the senior most judge available for disposal similarly.

(4)      No proceedings for judicial contempt shall be initiated after the expiry of one year.


12.      Civil contempt:— (1) Proceeding for civil contempt may be initiated suo motu or at the instance of an aggrieved party.

(2)      The provisions contained herein are intended to be in addition to, and not in derogation of, the power of the Court under any other law for the time being in force to enforce compliance of its orders, judgments or decrees.


          13.      Procedure in case of contempt in the face of the court:— (1) In the case of a contempt committed in the face of the court, the court may cause the contemner /offender to be detained in custody and may proceed against him in the manner provided in sub-section (2);

          Provided that if the case cannot be finally disposed of on the same day, the court may order the release of the accused from the custody either on bail or on his own bond.

          (2)      In all cases of contempt in the face of the court the juge shall pass an order in open court recording separately what was said or done by the accused person and shall immediately proceed against the offender or may refer the matter to the Chief justice for hearing and deciding the case by himself or by another judge.


          14.      Expunged material:—  No material which has been expunged from the record under the orders of

          (i)       a court of competent jurisdiction, or

          (ii)      The presiding officer of the Senate, the National Assembly or a

provincial Assembly; shall be admissible in evidence unless it is otherwise order by the court.


          15.      Innocent publication:— No person shall be guilty of contempt of court for making any statement, or publishing any material, pertaining to any matter which forms the subject of pending proceedings, if he was not aware of the pendency thereof.


          16.      Protected statements:— No proceedings for contempt of court shall lie in relation to the following:

(i)       observations made by a higher or appellate court in a judicial order or judgment;

(ii)      remarks made in an administrative capacity by any authority in the course of official business, including those in connection with a disciplinary inquiry or in an inspection note or a character roll or confidential report; and

(iii)              a true statement without intent to scandalize a judge regarding his conduct in a matter not connected with the performance of his judicial functions.


17.      Procedure:— (1) Save as expressly provided to the contrary, proceedings in cases of contempt shall be commenced by the issuance of a notice, or a show cause notice, at the discretion of the court.

(2)      In the case of a notice the alleged contemner may enter appearance in person or through an advocate and in the case of a show cause notice, shall appear personally;

Provided that the court may at any time exempt the alleged contemner from appearing personally;

(3)      if, after giving the alleged contemner an opportunity of a preliminary hearing, the court is prima facie satisfied that the interest of justice so requires, if shall fix a date for framing a charge in open court and proceed to decide the matter either on that date, or on a subsequent date or dates, on the basis of basis of affidavits, or after recording evidence;

Provided that the alleged contemner shall not, if he so requests, be denied the right of cross examination in relation to any affidavit, other than the of a judge, used in evidence against him.


18.      Substantial detriment:— (1) No person shall be found guilty of contempt of court, or punished accordingly, unless the court is satisfied that the contempt is one which is substantially detrimental to the administration of justice or scandalizes the court or other wise tends to bring the court or judge into hatred or ridicule.

(2)      In the event of a person being found not guilty of contempt by reason of sub-section (1) the court may pass an order deprecating the conduct, or actions, or the person accused of having committed contempt.

(3)      Subject to the provisions of this Ordinance, truth shall be a valid defence in cases of contempt of court.


19.      Appeal:— (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law or the rules for the time being in force, order passed by a superior court in contempt cases shall be appeal able in the following manner;

(i)       in the case of an order passed by a single judge of a High Court an intra-court appeal shall lie to a bench of two or more judges;

(ii)      in a case in which the original order has been passed by a division or larger bench of a High Court an appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court, and

(iii)              in the case of an original order passed by a single judge or a bench of two judges of the Supreme Court an intra-court appeal shall lie to a bench of three judges and in case the original order was passed by a bench of three or more judges an intra-court appeal shall lie to a bench of five or more judges.

(2)              The appellate court may suspend the impugned order pending disposal of the appeal.

(3)              The limitation period of filing an appeal shall be 30 days.


20.      Repeal:– The Contempt of court Act, 1976 (LXIV of 1976) is hereby repealed

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Related Case Law