In India, the concept of contempt of court has been in practice even before British rule. Then this concept was rather very repressive supporting exhaustive and unquestionable powers of the king. However, with change in time and pattern of governance the purpose of contempt of court was to protect the integrity of the court and safeguard the functioning of judicial administration without disruption, whether this was directed at any judicial officers or public at large. Thus in 1961 a committee was setup under HN Sanyal based on whose recommendation the contempt of court act 1971 was passed.
The objective and aim of this contempt jurisdiction bestowed upon by the constitution is to uphold and maintain the integrity of the court and to have the faith of the public in law strengthening in a better manner.
Power of contempt brings along an assurance of dignity intact of judicial institution in order to protect it from degrading and to have non-interference in the functioning system of administration of Justice and thus this power should be exercised with utmost care and with absolute fairness and every judge should remember that the provision is not for their individual protection but to safeguard the courts.
Thus, the law contempt of courts act 1971 justly divides contempt into two:
1.criminal contempt
2.civil contempt
And empowers the supreme court and high courts of India to make a person liable and award him/her the punishment accordingly. The following are considered as contempt’s against court:
1. Any word, written or spoken, signs and actions which prove to scandalize or tend to scandalize or lower the dignity of court.
2. Prejudice or interrupt any judicial process.
3. Disturb or hinder the judicial administration.
To conclude with, judiciary have to have a big heart and welcome the criticisms which are positive and also within the limit of fairness. The judiciary over a past few years having dealt with various circumstances have moved to a point of maturity to face criticism also at the same time not allowing behaviors which degrades the majesty of the court.