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Supreme Court Directs Delhi Police Commissioner To Ensure Recovery Of Rs 10 Lakh Cost Imposed On Petitioner Who Challenged CJI Dipak Misra's Appointment

Sohini Chowdhury
6 Aug 2022 4:38 AM GMT
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The Supreme Court, on Friday, stated that the Commissioner of Delhi Police shall take necessary steps to ensure that the cost of INR 10 lakhs imposed on one Mukesh Jain, who, along with one late Swami Om Ji(a self proclaimed godman), had pursued a frivolous litigation assailing the existing procedure adopted for the appointment of Chief Justice of India (CJI), be recovered as arrears of land revenue from his immovable properties in Delhi.

"The Commissioner shall do so immediately and file a status report of compliance thereafter within a period of three months."

On 06.05.2022, the Apex Court had directed attachment of Mukesh Jain's immovable properties in Delhi/Cuttack. Jain's Counsel had informed the Court that his client had shifted his residence to Cuttack. Accordingly, direction was passed to provide the details of his residential address to the Registry of the Supreme Court. It further noted that in the event Mukesh Jain is not traced, bailable warrants be issued to him.

The Counsel had also pointed out that four criminal cases had been registered against Jain in Odisha.

Again, on 19.05.2022, he sought time to obtain his clients' address and file the same for the Court's record.

On Friday, a Bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and J.B. Pardiwala noted that as per the report of the District and Sessions Judge, Cuttack dated 12.07.2022, the Superintendent of Police, Cuttack district has returned back the bailable warrant of arrest on the ground that the detailed address of Mukesh Jain was not mentioned.

In an additional affidavit filed by Jain on 25.05.2022, Jain has disclosed his address in Delhi. Considering the same, ASG, Ms. Aishwarya Bhati had informed the Bench that the Commissioner of Delhi Police would take necessary steps to ensure that the order of this Court in regard to the award of costs is duly enforced which shall be recovered as arrears of land revenue.

The matter is next listed on 7th November, 2022.

The PIL filed by Jain and Swami Omji(now deceased) challenging the appointment of CJI Dipak Misra was dismissed in 2017 for being 'motivated and a publicity stunt'. The Apex Court observed that the duo had chosen to avail of their legal remedy at the very last moment, only one working day before the oath of office of the next Chief Justice. It had also noted that the PIL was filed against legal advice taken by the petitioners. It was the contention of the petitioners that the procedure adopted in appointing the next Chief Justice of India, was in clear violation of Articles 124(2), 124(3) and 124A of the Constitution of India.

While disposing of the PIL, the Apex Court had imposed a cost of INR 10 lakhs on each of the two petitioners. They were directed to deposit the amount within a month's time, which would ultimately go to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund.

[Case title: Swamy Om Ji Vs Union of India M.A. No. 753 of 2022]

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