28 July 2023 5:56 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court on Friday rejected a public interest litigation seeking to restrain alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar, accused in a cheating case, from releasing the alleged derogatory letters from jail to media about actors Jacqueline Fernandez, Nora Fatehi and Chahatt Khanna. A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula dismissed the PIL with a...
The Delhi High Court on Friday rejected a public interest litigation seeking to restrain alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar, accused in a cheating case, from releasing the alleged derogatory letters from jail to media about actors Jacqueline Fernandez, Nora Fatehi and Chahatt Khanna.
A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula dismissed the PIL with a cost of Rs 25,000 to be deposited with Army Battle Casualties Welfare Fund.
The PIL was moved by Nishant Singh, a public servant calling himself as “one of the hard-core fans” of the three actors, alleging that Sukesh’s malicious efforts are intentional to outrage the modesty of India’s women artists and that he is “ruthless in dealing emotions.”
The plea also sought immediate action against the Union Government through Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Delhi Government for allegedly conniving with each other in outraging the modesty of the actors.
While dismissing the plea, the court said that the PIL is a sheer abuse of the judicial process which deserves to be dismissed with costs.
“PILs are intended to foster bonafide public interest. They cannot be permitted to be used as a tool for gratification of an oblique, extraneous motive, or a private interest. Undeniably, the courts extend aid in genuine cases where fundamental rights are being violated, however, this is not the situation in the present case. Sans any credible material, allegations made in the petition are plainly vain and do not merit any judicial intervention,” the court said.
It added that being a “self- proclaimed third-party fan”, Singh lacked the necessary locus standi to maintain the PIL and that his perceived status of a fan did not grant him the authority to seek relief on behalf of the actresses or the public at large.
“The act of making derogatory and obscene remarks directly affects their personal dignity and reputation. Consequently, they have the right to seek appropriate legal recourse against such offenses through existing civil and criminal remedies. The actresses involved are well-equipped to protect their interests and uphold their personal rights, without the necessity of a third-party representative like the Petitioner,” the bench said.
It added: “The PIL is replete with vague and reckless allegations, portraying it as nothing more than a misguided attempt to garner cheap publicity. After a careful examination of the content of the letters written by the undertrial, the Court finds it perplexing as to how they can be construed as outraging the modesty of the celebrities. The Petitioner’s affidavit also contains unsubstantiated allegations against the State authorities, accusing them of conniving with the undertrial. However, upon an extensive review of the evidence presented, no substantiated proof is manifest to even remotely support such grave allegations.”
The plea said that Sukesh is making “unrestrained statements” in the media about his alleged relationship with Jacqueline Fernandez due to which she would not be able to live her life with dignity.
Giving various examples of the letters, Singh has submitted that the “public antics” of Sukesh need to be stopped immediately and that his understanding of love is “quite weird.”
“In a time when his legal wife was in Judiciary custody, he was busy making, nurturing and grooming his “love” with Ms. Jacqueline Fernandez with his dubious efforts. His skill set were truly master class ... ,” the plea said.
Title: NISHANT SINGH v. UNION OF INDIA AND ANR.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 634
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