Plea against CJI: SC bars two litigants for life from filing PILshttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/plea-against-cji-sc-bars-two-litigants-for-life-from-filing-pils-4499717/

Plea against CJI: SC bars two litigants for life from filing PILs

An SC bench also took strong exception to the petitioners making President Pranab Mukherjee a party to the case while seeking several directives against the current and former CJI.

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The Supreme Court. (File)

IN A FIRST, two litigants, who cast aspersions on Chief Justice of India J S Khehar and his predecessor Justice T S Thakur, were Monday barred for life by the Supreme Court from filing any PIL in the apex court or in a high court. A bench led by Justice Dipak Misra further took strong exception to the petitioners making President Pranab Mukherjee a party to the case while seeking several directives against the current and the former CJI. One of the prayers in the PIL was to direct for removal of Justice Khehar.
Hauling up Mumbai-residents Anindita and Anirban Dey, the bench said that the duo would invite contempt of court proceedings if they ever approach a constitutional court with a PIL unless there is a violation of their personal fundamental rights.  “In future, the petitioners shall be debarred from filing any kind of public interest litigation in any constitutional court and none of their petition under Article 226 or Article 32 of the Constitution shall be entertained unless they are personally grieved. If the petitioners deviate from this direction, they shall be liable for contempt of this court,” said the court in a first-of-its-kind order.
Facing a criminal case in Mumbai, Anindita and Anirban had moved the Supreme Court in appeal against the Bombay High Court order in January 2014, but their petition was rejected by a bench headed by Justice Khehar in January 2016. The review petition too was dismissed in August last year. The duo then filed a PIL, making Justice Khehar a party to their case, apart from arraying Justice Thakur and President Mukherjee. When the matter came up for hearing in the court on Monday, nobody was present. The PIL was called out twice but the duo did not turn up.
The bench, however, noted that it would still pass the order since the petition “is vexatious and an expression of pervert proclivity”, besides being “the product of disgruntled minds obsessed with their own litigation.” It underlined that after their appeals had been rejected, the duo with “an incurable audacity, made allegations against the respondent No.2 and 3 (Justices Khehar and Thakur) which are absolutely unacceptable and, in fact, can never be conceived of.”
The court added: “It is an assault on the Constitution, more so, when the high constitutional authorities are involved. No litigant can be permitted to browbeat or malign the system. This is essential for maintaining the integrity of the institution and the public confidence in the delivery of justice. It is sheer malice.”
The court dubbed the petition as “absolutely malicious, vexatious and unjusticiable” while cautioning the litigants to occupy their just position in the justice dispensation system and “not assume the role that he is the monarch of all he surveys”.