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Justice Sanjeev Narula Of Delhi High Court Recuses From Hearing Juhi Chawla's Plea For Waiver Of Rs. 20 Lakhs Cost In 5G Case

Shreya Agarwal
12 July 2021 8:59 AM GMT
Justice Sanjeev Narula Of Delhi High Court Recuses From Hearing Juhi Chawlas Plea For Waiver Of Rs. 20 Lakhs Cost In 5G Case
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Justice Sanjeev Narula of the Delhi High Court today recused himself from hearing Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla's plea seeking waiver of costs of Rs.20 lakhs imposed on her during dismissal of her suit against the roll-out of 5G technology in the country.The court had imposed costs of Rs.20 lakhs on the petitioners, dismissing their petition, saying it was "frivolous litigation" - in light...

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Justice Sanjeev Narula of the Delhi High Court today recused himself from hearing Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla's plea seeking waiver of costs of Rs.20 lakhs imposed on her during dismissal of her suit against the roll-out of 5G technology in the country.

The court had imposed costs of Rs.20 lakhs on the petitioners, dismissing their petition, saying it was "frivolous litigation" - in light of various technical defects in the petition, including the non-payment of Court fees.

The petitioners have paid the costs and filed applications for refund of the same.

Earlier, Justice JR Midha (now retired) had expressed "shock" at the conduct of the actress and others who had moved the court in a suit against the roll-out of 5G technology in the country - insofar as the petitioners sought to withdraw their applications on one hand, and refused to pay costs imposed against them, on the other hand.

Hearing the two applications, one of which sought refund of the court fees paid, Justice Midha had said "For the first time in my judicial career, I'm seeing a party is (was) not willing to pay court fees!" Advocate Deepak Khosla for the petitioners then clarified that they weren't challenging the court fees but seeking refund of court fees paid. To this, the court said it was referring to the conduct of the petitioners at the first instance.

Warning the petitioners and expressing its discontent, the court had said, "This is the most frivolous application I've seen in my life," and reminded the counsel, "We were inclined to issue contempt notice, but didn't. Please see your conduct."

Background

Justice Midha had dismissed Juhi Chawla's petition against the roll-out of 5G telecom services in the country on the grounds that the plaint was defective on several counts. The court had said that the plaintiffs had "abused and misused the process of law," and imposed cost of Rs. 20 lakhs to be deposited within one week."

The Delhi State Legal Services Authority was directed to utilise it for the cause of victims of road accidents.

Scathingly, the Court had also remarked, "It appears plaintiffs have filed this suit for publicity, which is clear by the Plaintiff 1 sharing links of the hearing on her social media, which lead to multiple disruptions in the hearing."

The court was referring to songs from Juhi Chawla's movies being sung by a fan boy during the course of the hearing. The court had issued show cause notice to the person(s) who created the disruptions as to why contempt shouldn't be initiated against them.

Delhi High Court had on Wednesday reserved its order on applications filed in Bollywood actress and environmentalist Juhi Chawla's suit against the roll-out of 5G telecommunication services in the country.

Calling the suit a "defective plaint", Justice Midha had remarked that the suit filed by plaintiffs totally appeared to be a 'Media Publicity Suit'. The suit had been filed by Juhi Chawla and others seeking restraints upon the Union Government from taking any steps for the roll-out of 5G telecommunication services in the country, including, but not limited to steps for spectrum allocation, licensing, etc on grounds of long and short term harm to human, animal and plant life and detrimental impact on the environment at large.

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