While dismissing a PIL seeking closure of illegal hookah bars in Delhi, the Delhi High Court rapped the Petitioner for lack of preparedness and went on to highlight that Petitioners must do their homework before filing Public Interest Litigation plea.
While allowing the Petitioner to withdraw his plea, the Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan remarked that:
'Everyone has become a champion of filing bogus PILs.'
The present plea was filed to seek a direction to be issued to the South Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Delhi Police to identify hookah bars that are operating illegally and immediately proceed towards their closure.
The Petitioner further sought a direction to be issued to the Delhi Police to file an Action Taken Report in this regard.
At the outset, the court pulled up the counsel on the locus of the Petitioner:
'He's a clerk at a lower court, what does he know about the building regulations and municipal bylaws? This seems like one of those cases where the counsel chooses the Petitioner, instead of the Petitioner choosing the counsel.'
The court also expressed dissatisfaction towards the fact that the Petitioner did not provide any cogent suggestions as to what he expects the police to do. The court said:
'You pick up any municipal regulation and then come to us saying so many violations are happening. Why don't you come to us highlighting the issue of tax evasions? Are you a super-government or a super-Police Commissioner? You have to do your homework before you approach the court.'
The court earlier contemplated imposing heavy costs on the Petitioner. However, the court finally decided to issue a warning to the Petitioner and allowed him to withdraw his petition.