The Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court on September 11, 2019, while hearing a case - Smt. Gangabai w/o Ramrao Kappawar v. The State of Maharashtra & others, imposed a fine of Rs. 50,000 on a doctor for video recording court proceedings.
A Single Bench of JusticeRavindra V. Ghuge was hearing a plea filed by the petitioner, who sought relief from the Court after being disqualified as Sarpanch. During the proceedings, while counsel for the petitioner S.S. Thombre was making his arguments, the Sheristedar (court officer) was informed by the clerk that a person accompanying the husband of the petitioner was video recording the court proceedings.
Consequently, the clerk confiscated the phone and produced it before the Court.
The person recording the proceedings was identified as Dr. Vikram Shridharrao Deshmukh. The Court saw the video and it was clearly seen that Dr. Deshmukh was video recording the proceedings in the court.
The Court then called upon the petitioner's advocate to ask him as to the quantum of punishment that he would want to undergo, either seven days in jail or fine of Rs. 1,00,000.
However, Court noted - "He pleaded guilty, apologised and stated that he will deposit an amount of Rs. 50,000 as fine on or before 25.09.2019. I, therefore, direct that the amount of Rs. 50,000 shall be deposited by Dr.Vikram Shridharrao Deshmukh, in this Court, on or before 25.09.2019.
If the amount is not deposited, this Court would initiate a contempt proceeding for aggravated contempt against Dr. Vikram Deshmukh, besides passing appropriate orders for recovery of amount. In view of the said conduct, this matter will be heard only after the amount of fine is deposited in this Court.”
Apart from this, the Court has confiscated Dr. Deshmukh's Aadhar card and mobile which are to be preserved by the learned Registrar (Judl.) until further orders.
Before parting with the matter, the Court said that Dr. Deshmukh's conduct shall not affect the petitioner's case and directed the Registrar to download the said video and preserve his cell phone and Aadhaar card.