'Can't Entertain A Petitioner When The Supreme Court Has Barred Him Filing PILs': Delhi HC [Read Judgment]

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a PIL filed by NGO, Suraz India Trust, through its chairman Rajiv Daiya, against whom the Supreme Court had earlier issued orders, directing its Registry to not accept any applications filed by them.

"It is not possible, or proper, for us, to provide an audience to the petitioner, once the Supreme Court has gone to the extent of directing the Registry not to entertain any petition, either by the petitioner or by Mr. Daiya. Article 144 of the Constitution of India requires all authorities, civil and judicial, in the territory of India, to act in aid of the Supreme Court. We cannot, therefore, entertain the petitioner, where the Supreme Court has shut its doors to him, for all times to come. This, in our view, would fly directly in the face of Article 144 of the Constitution of India, and would amount to judicial misadventurism, on our part", the division bench of Chief Justice D. N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar said.

Notably, the Petitioner had earlier been restrained by a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court led by the then CJI, J. S. Khehar from filing any case, including PIL, in any court and had imposed costs quantified at Rs. 25 lakhs, for waste of judicial time.

The present petition had been filed under the liberty granted by the Supreme Court to do so vide its order dated December 6, 2010 in Suraz India Trust v. Union of India, W.P. (C) 469/2009, praying that the right of the people of India, who seek legal recourse on being injured/victimization as a result of breach of laws, the right of complainant in the case of injuries, etc., be protected. It also challenged the constitutional validity of Sections 47, 128, 195, 340, 301(1) and 302(1) of CrPC.

However, the high court noted that the Supreme Court had in another matter, Suraz India Trust v. Union of India, (2017) 14 SCC 416, directed the Petitioner organization and its Chairman to refrain from filing any cause in public interest, either directly or through any other individual, before any court.

"The Supreme Court noted that the Petitioner was an inveterate litigant, who had filed as many as 64 different proceedings before the Supreme Court, without being successful in any matter", the bench observed.

The bench was also reluctant to hear the matter in view of the Supreme Court's observation that-

"Why should a Trust be pursuing such a cause? Even if the prayers made in the petition were to be accepted, who would benefit therefrom? One would wonder, whether this petition had been filed bona fide? Or, is this petition a proxy litigation?"

Notably, the said case had been dismissed by the Supreme Court for being frivolous, with the following observation, "Mr Rajiv Daiya, appearing for the petitioner Trust, is an emboldened persona. He has expressed his ire even against six Judges of the Rajasthan High Court, including its Chief Justice, and against three Judges of the Supreme Court, besides its Chief Justice. We are of the view that all these actions of the petitioner were wholly unjustified. Mr Rajiv Daiya did not attempt to even make the slightest effort, to reason out the same, or to demonstrate the veracity of his actions".

Considerably, the Supreme Court had also noted in the aforesaid judgment that the Petitioner had written to the President of India alleging that the Supreme Court of India had acted in contravention of law and was acting contrary to the interests of general public. Particularly, it alleged that the higher judicial officers were indulged in "rescue of lower judicial officers" and that the judiciary of Rajasthan was acting "in collusion" with the Registry of Supreme Court, to pass orders as per their "whims and fancies" in cases of contempt against certain judges, filed by the Petitioner himself.

In this regard the Apex Court had stated, "disparaging remarks were contained therein [the letter], not only with reference to Judges of the Rajasthan High Court but also with reference to Judges of this Court."

The Petitioner's stance before the high court was that the aforementioned judgment of the Supreme Court had not attained finality, as he had preferred petitions before the President of India and that the matter was still alive in the Supreme Court.

The HC refused to entertain the said plea and stated "This Court is not prepared to countenance a public interest litigation, at the instance of the litigant who is in contempt of the Supreme Court, and is wilfully defying, with total impunity, the direction of the Supreme Court… we are not convinced that it would be appropriate for us to entertain the petitioner, or provide an audience to him, until and unless he complies with the order of the Supreme Court."

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