The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up and imposed a cost of Rs 50,000 on a lawyer who filed a PIL naming Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as a party.
“We find no good ground to entertain the present writ petition. The writ petition is accordingly dismissed with costs of Rs 50,000 (rupees fifty thousand) to be deposited with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee,” a bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul ordered.
The bench also directed its Registry that “until cost amount is paid, no public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Shri Manohar Lal Sharma, advocate will be entertained and put up before the Court”. Sharma had filed petitions in the 2G and Coal scam cases during the UPA II era and recently had moved the apex court in the Rafale matter too.
He had also unsuccessfully challenged the release of the movie — Padmavat. The CJI acknowledged his work and said “you have done some good work” but added that he was “not brining honour to the institution” now.
“What kind of a PIL is this? You name the Finance Minister and say he is likely to plunder the resources of the Reserve Bank of India… What is this?…Why bring names into it”, the CJI asked the counsel.
Sharma replied that he would amend the petition and that he had no personal interest in it. But the bench was not convinced. “You cannot go on with such misadventure…”., the court said and added it would not hesitate to ban him from filing PILs.
The counsel tendered his apology but the bench did not budge.