Judge, Why You No Hear Me? – Check recent PILs dumped by Courts | Series #2
On 8 July 2015, Supreme Court dismissed a petition filed by a Madhya Pradesh resident Kishore Samrite who sought setting up of a special investigating team (SIT) to probe whether the government has made any serious effort to bring fugitive Dawood Ibrahim back to India and prosecute him. Ex-Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar had recently made statements that Dawood was willing to surrender.
Dismissing the petition, bench comprising of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy said:
We cannot look into this issue. It is not for the judiciary.
#2: PIL against marital rape dismissed by DelHC as SC seized of the matter
On 8 July 2015, Delhi High Court dismissed a PIL asking for criminalisation of marital rape, and challenging the provisions of Indian Penal Code whereby a husband may have sex with his under-aged wife without attracting anti-rape prosecution.
Petition was filed by NGO Rit Foundation and it contended that the exception in section 375 was brought by way of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 2013, was to the extent that it grants immunity to a husband by raping his wife, who is above age of 15 years, was unconstitutional as it it is in violation of the Right to Equality guaranteed to married women under Article 14 of the Constitution as it decriminalises rape when the perpetrator is the lawfully wedded husband of the victim.
However after the submission of ASG Sanjay Jain, bench comprising of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath dismissed the petition observing:
It is brought to our notice by the learned ASG that W.P.(C) No.382/2013 filed with identical prayer to quash the provisions of Section 375 of IPC as amended by Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 is pending before the Supreme Court of India.
Since the Supreme Court is seized of the matter, we do not think it necessary to keep this matter pending any longer.
#3: PIL to ban “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” dismissed
On 10 July 2015, Allahabad HC dismissed a PIL filed by a Chitrakoot-based social activist Anil Pradhan who alleged that the movie contained scenes which could “hurt religious sentiments of the majority community”.
A division bench, comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Yashwant Verma observed:
…the petition does not contain any convincing reason why we should intervene in this matter.
The PIL had impleaded the Ministry for Information and Broadcasting, the film’s producers Yashraj Films and other members of the star cast as parties.
#4: PIL for a separate Supreme Court bench at Chennai either physical or through iPads
As we had reported earlier, Supreme Court has dismissed a petition which sought setting up of a separate bench of the Supreme Court of India in Chennai for easy accessibility of justice for citizens of southern states. The petition filed by advocate A M Krishna was heard by a bench comprising of Chief Justice HL Dattu and justices Arun Kumar Mishra and Amitava Roy. The petition was based on the ground that reports of the Law Commission of India and Parliamentary standing committees have favoured it.
NDTV reported that as an alternative, petitioner had submitted that even if a physical bench of the Supreme Court could not be set up in the Tamil Nadu capital, the use of new technology services and devices could be explored. It was further submitted that lawyers in a virtual courtroom in Chennai can present their cases through tablet computers like iPads while judges in New Delhi will also rule over them with similar hardware and software.
Dismissing the petition, Chief Justice HL Dattu said:
Yes we can do it, but not now. We appreciate your progressive thinking; but not now.
#5: PIL for ‘great personalities’ on currency other than Gandhi, dismissed with cost
On 8 July 2015, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court dismissed a PIL petition which sought a direction to not print the photograph of Mahatma Gandhi on currency notes but other great personalities. Petition which was filed by advocate Ashok Pandey was heard by a bench of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Rakesh Srivastava.
Terming the PIL as frivolous which wasted valuable time of the Court, bench dismissed the petition with a cost of Rs. 25,000.
#6: Restrain Jayalalitha from assuming the post of Tamlinadu CM
Earlier, on 22 May 2015, Karnataka High Court on dismissed a PIL petition filed by an advocate who had sought a direction to restrain AIADMK general secretary Jayalaithaa from assuming the post of Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and also imposed a fine of Rs. 25,000 on the petitioner – Raviraj Gururaj Kulkarni.
Petitioner claimed that the acquittal was due to a “glaring arithmetical error” committed by the High Court’s judge in the verdict acquitting Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case and submitted that that allowing her to assume the Chief Minister’s post before “final order” was passed in the DA case would send a wrong message to society that “VVIPs can get away easily.” Matter was heard by a Division Bench comprising Justice A.N. Venugopala Gowda and Justice B. Veerappa.
#7: Challenge to Section 8 of AP Re-organisation Act dismissed
In July 2015, a division bench of the Hyderabad High Court dismissed a PIL which questioned the constitutional validity of Section 8 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014
Bench pointed out:
How a statutory provision could be challenged in the form of a public interest litigation?
The bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale and Justice S V Bhatt was hearing the PIL filed by S Padmanabha Rao and three others, which claimed that the said provision which empowered the Governor as authority was contrary to various aspects of the balance of powers and elected governments.
The bench observed that there was no public interest involved in the petition and they were inclined to dismiss it. Upon this the petition was withdrawn with a liberty file a fresh regular writ petition.
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