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Kerala HC Slaps 50K Costs On Man Who Moved Court Seeking Home Delivery Of Liquor In View Of COVID 19 Outbreak [Read Judgment]

20 March 2020 9:41 AM GMT
Kerala HC Slaps 50K Costs On Man Who Moved Court Seeking Home Delivery Of Liquor In View Of COVID 19 Outbreak  [Read Judgment]
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The Kerala High Court came down heavily on a person who filed a writ petition seeking a direction to the Beverages corporation to take a decision to make available potable liquor for delivery to consumers in the State through online platforms.

Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar imposed costs of Rs. 50,000 on Jyothish, the petitioner.

In his representation to the Corporation, the petitioner stated that, since the outlets are inevitably crowded during business hours, the outbreak of COVID 19 virus has rendered it unsafe for him to visit an outlet for procuring alcohol for his consumption. Therefore he has made suggestions on alternate modes of delivery of alcoholic liquor to consumers.

"It is with a deep sense of exasperation and a tinge of disgust that I write this judgment", Justice Nambiar said. While dismissing the writ petition with 'the contempt it deserves', the judge observed:

The citizenry ought to realize that the restrictions imposed by this Court on the filing of cases is with a view to ensuring that their fundamental rights as citizens, for access to justice, is guaranteed to the extent possible, even at the cost of exposing the Judges, lawyers, clerks and staff of this Court, to the risk of viral infection. When measures such as these are adopted by this Institution in public interest, the very least that is expected from the litigating public is a sensitivity to the interests of their fellow citizens in Society, who like them have a fundamental right to a safe place of work and a healthy environment.

One cannot help but lament at the selfishness of the petitioner in the instant case, and others like him in Society, whose obsession with perceived "rights" blinds them to the obligatory 'duty' that they owe to their fellow citizens.  

Though the counsel for the petitioner sought permission to withdraw the writ petition, the Court went on to impose exemplary costs. The judge further added:

"The petitioner's conduct in filing this frivolous petition at a time like this, while making a mockery of the salutary concept of access to justice, which this institution strives to guarantee, also ridicules the functioning of this noble institution. For the said reckless, insensitive and insolent action, the petitioner cannot be let away lightly. "

The costs were directed to be paid to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund, within two weeks

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