Sat. May 18th, 2024

The Supreme Court has fined a man Rs 5 lakh for claiming in a public interest litigation (PIL) that the oath taken by the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court was “defective”. The court dismissed the PIL as a frivolous attempt to gain publicity. The bench, led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, stated that objections to the oath cannot be raised as it was administered by the Governor and subscribed to afterwards. The court emphasized that such frivolous PILs consume the court’s time and attention, diverting them from more serious matters. The bench, including Justice JB Padriwala and Justice Manoj Misra, called for exemplary costs to be imposed in such cases. The petitioner, Ashok Pandey, must deposit the fine within four weeks, or the amount will be collected as arrears of land revenue through the Collector and District Magistrate at Lucknow. Pandey’s PIL contended that the Chief Justice did not use the expression “I” before his name during the oath ceremony, in violation of the Third Schedule of the Constitution. He also claimed that the representatives and administrator of the Government of the Union Territory of Daman and Diu and Dadar and Nagar Haveli were not invited to the ceremony.

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