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"Lawyers Think Entire Burden Is On Courts In PILs; PIL Like Any Other Writ Petition & Must Comply With Rules Of Pleadings": Supreme Court

Srishti Ojha
20 July 2021 4:20 PM GMT
Lawyers Think Entire Burden Is On Courts In PILs; PIL Like Any Other Writ Petition & Must Comply With Rules Of Pleadings: Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court on Monday made it clear that while filing PILs, litigants have to comply with rules of pleadings and the entire burden of fact-finding cannot be left on Courts. "Advocates think that in PILs entire burden can be cast upon the Court. You at least produce which are the FIRs, give us the details. PIL is like any other regular writ petition. You have to help yourself and...

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The Supreme Court on Monday made it clear that while filing PILs, litigants have to comply with rules of pleadings and the entire burden of fact-finding cannot be left on Courts. 

"Advocates think that in PILs entire burden can be cast upon the Court. You at least produce which are the FIRs, give us the details. PIL is like any other regular writ petition. You have to help yourself and comply with rules of pleadings," a Division Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah said while hearing a PIL for quashing of FIRs registered against people questioning Centre's Covid-19 vaccination policy.

Observing that the petitioner should discharge his part of responsibility, the Bench directed him to produce the details of such FIRs before the Court.

The plea filed by Advocate Yadav sought direction to Delhi Police Commissioner to not register any further cases, FIRs against people who put advertisements, posters and brochures criticizing the vaccination policy in public domain or on social media.

During the hearing, the Bench stated,

"Mr. Yadav, problem is the nature of your reliefs. You want a general direction to stop registration of FIRs against those pasting or uploading posters casting a satire on vaccination policy. Prima facie we'd have been with you, but get some cases before us. You have filed a general PIL!"

"You get us one person against whom such an action has been taken," the Bench added.

Responding to this, Yadav informed the Court that 24 FIRs were registered in NCT of Delhi and one was registered in the state of UP.

"The Petitioner has submitted that within a week he shall produce on affidavit details of FIRs which are stated to have been lodged against individuals in NCT of Delhi & in UP," the Bench recorded in its order.

The Petitioner informed the Court that similar cases have emerged in Lakshadweep as well. However, the Bench responded,

"Lakshadweep controversy was different. The person was granted anticipatory bail by Kerala High Court. We also read newspapers. Let's not confuse things which you are raising here with something that has been pending before Kerala High Court."

Yadav then requested the Court to direct the concerned police stations to provide copies of FIRs to him. "I've visited the concerned police stations and they did not provide it," he claimed.

"Then we would have issued notice, we will get all information out but we want you also to discharge part of your responsibility. Frankly, in Allahabad and Mumbai we would dismiss the PILs just filed without any research and reading some news item somewhere. Of course, there are cases involving victims who can't pursue their rights and therefore even newspaper reports can be relied upon, no question about it. Get your house in order and come back next Friday," Justice Chandrachud said refusing indulgence to the above request.

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