Punjab and Harayana High Court Takes Action Against Clerk for Slandering Judicial Officers on YouTube

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has taken suo moto (on their own) action against a Court Clerk; for slandering Judicial Officers on Youtube. The clerk, Harmeet Singh, posted at the Sessions Court in Mansa, firstly, created a YouTube account with the name “Ugly face of Indian Judiciary, Ludhiana“. Thereafter, he shared videos criticizing and allegedly making false allegations against the judicial officers.

Through the channel, the clerk openly claimed the District & Sessions Judge, Ludhiana and Additional District Judge Ranjit Kumar Jain manipulated his transfer to Mansa Sessions Division. He also made such allegations against two sitting Judges of the High Court.

The proceedings were initiated after the District & Sessions Judge, Ludhiana referred that through his channel, the clerk attempted to frighten the Judges with the aim of getting a transfer back to Ludhiana.

However, the clerk told the Court that he was already punished as per a departmental enquiry and four of his annual grade pay increments were stopped with cumulative effect under Rule 5(v) to (ix) of the Punjab Civil Services (Punishment & Appeal) Rules, 1970. Therefore, he argued that these proceedings would result in a double jeopardy. He also argued that uploading videos on YouTube does not amount to “publication”; because his YouTube account remains personal and restricted only to a few friends.

Decision of the High Court

The Division bench consisting of Justice Jawant Singh and Justice Sant Parkash refuted the arguments.

For the interest of justice, the Court frames proper charge against him; and gives him the opportunity to prove his claim through production of  evidence, if any. The arguments so raised on his behalf regarding the double jeopardy; the circulation through YouTube not amounting to publication; and whether it amounted to scandalizing the judicial system; are debatable questions. The court can answer them only after the evaluation of evidence and submissions of both the parties.“- Observed the High Court.

Notably, in India protection against double jeopardy is a Fundamental Right; guaranteed under Article 20 (3) of the Constitution of India. The Court has listed the matter on September 24, 2020.

Ishan Harlalka
Ishan Harlalkahttp://lexinsider.com
I am a 3rd year law aspirant pursuing BA LLB. I am deeply interested in learning and am always looking forward to gain knowledge about new subjects. In my leisure time, I try to read books of various genres and by different authors. As people from non-law background may find it difficult to understand legal provisions and jargons, I try to write in a way that my articles are easy to comprehend and after reading them, one can discuss them with others.


The case of Aruna Shanbaug that changed the Euthanasia laws...

It is my Belief that death is a friend to whom we should be grateful, for it frees us from the manifold ills which are our lot - Mahatma Gandhi. As human beings, out the umpteen desires that we have, one of them is definitely to have a peaceful death....

Justice D Y Chandrachud’s path-breaking Verdict in the Sabarimala Case of...

“Will the quest for equality and fraternity be denuded of its content where women continue to be treated as children of a lesser god in exercising their liberties in matters of belief, faith and worship? Will the pursuit of individual dignity be capable of being achieved if we deny...

After repealing section 377, its time to Legalise Same-Sex Marriage in...

A draconian, archaic law that criminalized homosexuality was struck down in a historic judgment given by the Supreme Court in 2018. Two years after the judgment, the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) community has now sought legal recognition of their relationships. As the social stigmas surrounding the LGBTQ...

Modern Day Book Burning a.k.a Internet Shutdowns

The internet has become an indispensable element in our society for all the obvious reasons. For the majority of users, not a single day goes by where we don't 'need' the internet and the lack of a reliable and fast connection can feel paralyzing. An internet shutdown refers to...

Letter to UNHRC – Dr Kafeel Khan, Punished Because He’s Muslim

Kafeel Khan, a doctor by profession and a social activist has been targeted by Yogi Government since 2017, in 3 years he had been maliciously arrested 3 times & imprisoned for around 14 months on the false charges set up against him at many instances. Now he is absolved...

Prison Life In India and its Aftermath

Everyone prays to never see the bars of prison in their lifetime. Yet, as fickle as life is, it is quite hard to predict the future. It is in everyone’s benefit to know a little bit about prison life; for movies and cinemas do not do justice to the...