A citizen learns the hard way after the Delhi High Court slaps Rs. 3 lakh fine for filing writ petitions repeatedly
With due apologies here is an amended famous quote from the commencement address to the Wellesley College, 1996 by Nora Ephron ( May 19, 1941 â€“ June 26, 2012), an American journalist, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, novelist, producer, director, and blogger.
â€œWhatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady (litigant). I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women (litigants).””
On December 6 SN Sahu, a citizen learnt this at a very pecuniary cost after Justice Valmiki Mehta imposed an exemplary cost of Rs. 3 lakh for his sixth writ petition against Rajya Sabha Secretariat seeking cancellation of the appointments of two persons as Additional Secretaries of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat.
This concept of filing a new writ petition essentially for getting earlier admitted writ petitions heard is an unheard concept and argument and needs to be put down with heavy hand, the Court said.
The Delhi High Court imposed the cost on the person who had filed successive writ petitions on the same issue, for getting earlier admitted writ petitions heard.
The court held that the present writ petition seeking relief in the nature of quo warrant is not maintainable because there is no pleading in the writ petition as to which statutory provision is violated in the appointments.
Noting the successive writ petitions were filed on the same facts and causes of action, the court observed:
â€œThis concept of filing a new writ petition essentially for getting earlier admitted writ petitions heard is an unheard concept and argument and needs to be put down with heavy hands. Petitioner cannot expect that there is only one case of his in this court for being decided and this court does not have cases of hundreds and thousands of other petitioners who are silently waiting for their turn in queue for their cases to be heard on merits.â€
Dismissing the writ petition, the court said, â€œThis writ petition is dismissed with costs of Rs. 3 lakh noting that the petitioner has enough money for filing sequential judicial proceedings in this courtâ€.
About the author: PCI Babai is a Delhi based practicing hack, a cynic to core.”