The Delhi High Court has made certain strong critical observation against the "defective and vexatious" civil suit filed by Hindi film actor Juhi Chawla seeking to stop the roll out of 5G technology raising apprehension about dangers of radiation.
"This is a classic textbook case of, how not to draft a plaint, which should be taught in law colleges and to young lawyers so that such bloopers in drafting of pleadings, damaging to one's own client, are avoided", the High Court observed in the judgment.
In fact, these observations were made by a bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw regarding another case. A bench of Justice J R Midha, which considered Chawla's suit, said that these observations are fully applicable to her suit as well.
The bench cited the following defects in her suit.
I. Order VI Rule 2(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that the plaint shall contain statements of material facts in a conciseform but no evidence by which they are to be proved. However, the plaintiffs have not complied with Order VI Rule 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure as (i) The statement of plaintiffs are not in concise form and (ii) The plaintiffs have incorporated the evidence in the plaint
II.Order VI Rule 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that the contents of any document shall not be set out in the plaint unless the precise words of the document or any part thereof are material. However, the plaintiffs have not complied with Order VI Rule 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure andhave reproduced the documents in the plaint.III.The plaint is stuffed with unnecessary scandalous, frivolous and vexatious averments which are liable to be struck down under Order VI Rule 16 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
IV.The plaintiffs have joined 33 defendants in this suit. However, the plaint does not reflect the compliance of Order I Rule 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure in joining 33 defendants in one suit
V.The plaintiffs have joined various causes of action without complying with Order II Rule 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
VI.The plaintiffs have not verified the plaint which is mandatory under Order VI Rule 15 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
VII.In the affidavit filed along with the plaint, the plaintiffs have deposed that only paras 1 to 8 of the plaint are true to their knowledge whereas paras 1 to 169 of the plaint are based on information and legal advice, meaning thereby that the plaintiffs have no personal knowledge of any of the averments made in the plaint. The suit totally based upon information and legal advice is not maintainable.
VIII.Since the plaintiffs have no personal knowledge of any averments made in the plaint and the whole plaint is based on information and legal advice received, it appears that the plaintiffs want an inquiry to be conducted by this Court into the averments made in the plaint which is not permissible in lawin these proceedings.
IX.Section 34 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 deals withdeclaratory suits. A person entitled to any legal character can institute a suit against another person who denies or is interested to deny his right. In the present case, the plaintiffs never approached the defendants claiming any right and therefore, there was no occasion for the defendants to respond or deny to the plaintiffs alleged rights. In that view of the matter, the maintainability of the declaratory reliefs sought by the plaintiffsis doubtful.
X.Section 39 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 deals with mandatory injunctions. The twin requirements of Section 39 are the existence of an obligation of the defendant towards the plaintiff and the breach thereof by the defendant. Both theserequirements are not fulfilled. The maintainability of the mandatory injunctionssought by the plaintiffs are,therefore, doubtful.XI.The plaintiffs have notvalued the suit properly for the purpose of Court-fees.
XII.The plaintiffs have not given the mandatory notice under Section 80(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure.
The plaintiffs filed this suit on 28thMay, 2021 in which the Registry raised an objection to the maintainability of the suit. The plaintiffs, instead of explaining how the suit is maintainable, requested the Registry to list the suit as it is with defects and the plaintiffs undertook to bear the cost and consequences of the same,whereupon the Registry listed this matter,subject to objections,before the Court.
The entire suit filed by the plaintiffs is under Section 91of the Code of Civil Procedure read with Order XXVII-A and Order I Rule 8 of the Code of Civil Procedure. However, no application was filed along with this suit to seek the leave of the Court to institute the suit.
The Court termed the suit an "abuse of process of law" which resulted in wastage of judicial time. Therefore, a cost of Rs 20 laksh was imposed, which was directed to be deposited before the Delhi Legal Services Authority. Also, the balance court fee payable of Rs 1,95, 594/- was also directed to be deposited. DSLSA shall utilize this cost for the cause of the victims of road accidents.
The Court further ordered :
"It appears that the plaintiffs have filed this suit to gain publicity which is clear from the fact that plaintiff No.1 circulated the video conferencing link of this Court on her social media accounts, which resulted in the repeated disruption of the Court proceedings.
During the courseofthehearing of this suit, theCourt proceedings were disruptedthriceby theunknownmiscreantswho continued the disruptionsdespiterepeatedwarnings. Issue show cause notice to the persons who disrupted the Court proceedings as to why the proceedings for contempt of Court be not initiated against them. The Delhi Police shall identify the persons and serve the notice on them".
The case will be listed further on July 5 for reporting complaince.
Case : Juhi Chawla and others v Science and Engineering Research Board and others