The Bombay High court on Wednesday directed a petitioner, seeking the setting aside of the Epidemic Diseases Act while alleging that the number of people affected by Covid-19 being reported was exaggerated, to make a security deposit of Rs 1 lakh before the court hears the public interest litigation (PIL).
Observing that it was a frivolous petition and would result in wastage of precious judicial time, the court said the petitioner should deposit Rs 1 lakh within a week as a pre-condition to hear the plea, failing which, the PIL would be dismissed.
A division bench of Chief Justice (CJ) Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was physically hearing a PIL filed by advocate Harshal Mirashi, challenging the constitutional validity of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and seeking a direction to forthwith stop its enforcement and lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.
Mirashi has said in the PIL that Covid-19 is nothing more than cough and cold, which has been blown out of proportion by “’certain elements”, to make undue profit by instilling fear in people’s minds.
The bench on Wednesday asked Mirashi if he had complied with PIL rules and deposited a security amount to continue its hearing. “We will hear you, but only after you deposit heavy security for filing such a frivolous petition. If you succeed, you will get the security amount,” CJ Datta said.
“Do you mean to say that all the figures (of Covid-19 patients) are incorrect?” Justice Kulkarni asked Mirashi.
Following this, the court asked Mirashi to deposit Rs 1 lakh with its registry within a week.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines