What is contempt of court?


Contempt of court means that someone either disobeyed or disrespected court. The disobeying part is easy to understand did not comply with court’s order. But the disrespect part is bit tricky. In few cases, it is subjective to court’s discretion. This clause was added to ensure people do not interfere with court’s proceeding. There may be cases when a court’s verdict does not please everybody. For example, in a case, the plaintiff and defendant will have different views (that’s why they are in court). Now judge might say something which may make one of them very angry. If they show their anger (either verbally or physically) in court, that will be deemed as interfering with court’s affair thus disrespect and hence contempt. Based on severity of the contempt, the penalty can be monetary or even a prison sentence! The law as drafted like this to ensure court proceedings can progress without any hindrance. If opposing parties start arguing among them, then court cannot function properly. That is why the judge often has to shout “Order, order” in court to make attendees keeping quiet.

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