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Plea Seeking Directions To Officials Not To Disturb Chief Minister On Sundays: Madras High Court Dismisses Plea With 10K Cost

Sparsh Upadhyay
8 Jun 2021 10:27 AM GMT
Plea Seeking Directions To Officials Not To Disturb Chief Minister On Sundays: Madras High Court Dismisses Plea With 10K Cost
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The Madras High Court on Monday dismissed a plea with 10,000/- cost which sought directions the Chief Secretary and other officials not to circulate any file or seek any orders or disturb the Chief Minister, except in extraordinary circumstances on Sundays.The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy called it "an utterly ridiculous petition" and said...

The Madras High Court on Monday dismissed a plea with 10,000/- cost which sought directions the Chief Secretary and other officials not to circulate any file or seek any orders or disturb the Chief Minister, except in extraordinary circumstances on Sundays.

The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy called it "an utterly ridiculous petition"  and said that any reasonable person should have thought many times over it, before disturbing the Court.

The categorical prayer in the petition was to direct the Chief Secretary and other officials not to circulate any file or seek any orders or disturb the Chief Minister, except in extraordinary circumstances on Sundays.

To this, the Court said that it was entirely a matter between the head of a government and the officials as to how files should be placed before the Chief Minister and how the Chief Minister will function.

Further, the Court stressed that it cannot interfere in such matters and expressed hope that such frivolous petitions are destroyed long before they are carried to court in the future.

Lastly, the petitioner was directed to pay costs assessed at Rs.10,000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand only) to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund for use to deal with Covid-19.

Also, the petitioner has been restrained from instituting any public interest litigation for a period of a year without obtaining previous permission from the relevant Bench.

Last year, the Madras High Court had imposed a cost of Rs. 20,000/- on an Advocate for filing a series of frivolous petitions in connection to the re-opening of TASMAC liquor shops in the state.

The bench was informed that the Petitioner, B. Ramkumar Adityan, a practicing Advocate of the High Court, had concealed the fact that earlier also the High Court had imposed a cost of Rs. 10,000/- on him, for filing frivolous PILs.

Recently, noting that "Time has come to weed out the petitions, which though titled as public interest litigations are in essence something else," the Himachal Pradesh High Court had expressed shock as to the number of frivolous petitions being filed before it under the garb of public interest.

A Division Bench of Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Sandeep Sharma made these remarks while hearing a PIL seeking postponement of local panchayat elections, on basis of the prevailing situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in the State.

In the year 2016, the first Bench of Madras High Court headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul had dismissed a PIL seeking details about the health status of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, terming it as 'Publicity Interest Litigation'

A social activist K R 'Traffic' Ramaswamy, through his public interest litigation, had sought for a direction to the State Government to file a detailed report before this Court with photographs of the Hon'ble Chief Minister, who is being treated in Apollo Hospital, so as to have a realistic assessment of her health. He had also sought publication of photographs of meeting and discussion of the Ministers and the Officials with the Hon'ble Chief Minister in the hospital.

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