5 Dec 2020 10:45 AM GMT
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed a petitioner challenging the constitutional validity of the Epidemic Diseases Act to deposit Rs. 1 lakh with the registry in order for it to be heard or else it will be dismissed opining that prima facie the said PIL is vexatious.Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni were hearing the Public Interest Litigation filed...
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed a petitioner challenging the constitutional validity of the Epidemic Diseases Act to deposit Rs. 1 lakh with the registry in order for it to be heard or else it will be dismissed opining that prima facie the said PIL is vexatious.
Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni were hearing the Public Interest Litigation filed by lawyer Harshal Mirashi who sought lifting of lockdown restrictions imposed after both the State and Central governments invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act.
After hearing the petitioner in person, the bench observed-
"We are prima facie of the opinion that this is a vexatious writ petition filed as a Public Interest Litigation. In exercise of the powers conferred by Rule 7A of the Bombay High Court Public Interest Litigation Rules, 2010, we call upon the petitioner to put in a security amount of Rs.1 Lakh within a week from date. If such security amount is put in, the writ Petition shall be listed on the following working day for further consideration. In the event, however, the security amount is not put in, the writ petition shall stand dismissed without reference to the Bench."
The petitioner had initially approached the apex court in the matter and the case had come up for hearing before the bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indira Banerjee. The bench had asked the petitioner at the outset-
"What kind of a writ petition have you filed? Don't you have something called the High Court of Judicature of Bombay?"
When the petitioner responded saying Epidemic Diseases Act is a Central Act, Justice Chandrachud had said-
"We have the power, but the High Courts also do have the power to consider the validity of any law or to strike it down. Since the High Courts also have the power, it is desirable to go to the High Court!",
Both the judges noted that they have struck down laws sitting as High Court judges and observed that an efficacious and alternative remedy exists before the High Court under Article 226. Thus, the Supreme Court granted the petitioner liberty to withdraw the plea. Thereafter the petitioner approached the High Court.
Click Here To Download Order