Q. Consider the following statements regarding the Contempt of Court:
1. Scandalizing the Court is a criminal offence in India.
2. Supreme Court and High Courts derive their contempt powers from the Constitution.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

[A] 1 only

[B] 2 only

[C] Both 1 and 2

[D] Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: C
Notes:

Statement 1 is correct. The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 divides contempt into civil and criminal contempt. 

  • Civil contempt refers to the willful disobedience of an order of any court. 
  • Criminal contempt includes any act or publication which: (i) ‘scandalises’ the court, or (ii) prejudices any judicial proceeding, or (iii) interferes with the administration of justice in any other manner. 
  • Scandalising the Court’ broadly refers to statements or publications which have the effect of undermining public confidence in the judiciary. 

Statement 2 is correct. The superior courts (Supreme Court and High Courts) derive their contempt powers from the Constitution. 

  • Article 129 and 215 provide that Supreme Court and every High Court (respectively) shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself.