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Blog # 10. Unnecessary Litigations

On May 1, the Supreme Court’s three-Judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, J.S.Khehar, had imposed exemplary cost of Rs.25 lakh on the NGO, Suraz India Trust, for filing frivolous petitions, and wasting judicial time, and restrained the trust and its chairman, Rajiv Daiya, from filing any case, including PIL, in any court.
On June 22, the bench gave a reasoned order for its decision. The judgment, authored by CJI Khehar, on behalf of himself, and Justices D.Y.Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul.   In its order, accompanying the judgment, the bench said that the imposition of exemplary costs on the Trust would discourage “the instant nature of indiscretion, not only at the hands of the Suraz India Trust, but also at the hands of other similarly placed individuals, who may have been emboldened, to adopt the course treaded by Rajiv Daiya.
Giving details of the 12 different petitions and applications, which were agitated by Daiya in 64 different proceedings since 2009, under the PIL jurisdiction of the Court, the bench expressed its doubts whether Daiya was a proxy litigant, and its dismay over why he should be keen to resolve complex legal questions involving the appointment of Judges in the Higher Judiciary, without having competence to understand the legal nuances himself.  In his petitions, he had challenged the constitutional validity of the Judges Inquiry Act, and repeatedly filed contempt petitions in the matter, when the  Supreme Court dismissed them.
The bench also expressed its dismay over his repeated prayer that his petition ought to have been heard by a 11-Judge bench as a “matter of his imagination, and not founded on any legal basis”.
The bench took note of the fact that Daiya did not attempt to even make the slightest effort, to reason out the same, or to demonstrate the veracity of his actions.  “The petitioner has been seriously remiss, in his judicial interventions”, the bench held.
In Paragraph 26, the bench observed: “Extremely important matters are taken  up for consideration on a daily basis, and they lag behind sometimes, because individuals who were not competent to assist this Court, insist without due cause, to be granted a prolonged hearing.   Hearing is sometimes sought (as in the instant case) even in matters, which the petitioners themselves are incompetent to understand and handle.  All such misadventures have to be dealt with sternly, so as to prevent abuse of judicial time. Specially by such individuals, who freely cast imaginary and scandalous accusations, in making out their submissions.”
The bench made it clear to Daiya that this order should considered as a warning enough, for the future.  It asked him to refrain himself from filing any cause in public interest, either directly or through any other individual, hereinafter, in any court.
The bench directed Daiya to deposit Rs.25 lakhs with the Supreme Court Advocates On Record Welfare Trust, within three months from May 1.  Failing deposit, the costs shall be recoverable from him through his personal proceeds, if necessary, it held.

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