NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Monday came down on several petitioners for filing “publicity interest litigations” on various issues, like regulating news reporting of Covid issues and investigating the alleged misuse of the Lt Governor-Chief Minister Relief Fund, saying these were filed without any homework and imposed costs on some of them.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh said some of these pleas appeared to be filed on ideas which came to the petitioners’ minds while having tea or walking on the road. “Chai peete peete idea aaya toh socha file karo PIL (while having tea you had an idea and decided to file a PIL). That is not how it is done. You may have an idea while walking on the road.
You have to do some homework and then file the petition,” the bench said while dismissing with cost of Rs 50,000 a PIL seeking a court-monitored investigation into the alleged siphoning off of amounts donated by the public in the Lieutenant Governor-Chief Minister Relief Fund for Covid-19 relief. The court said the plea was filed based on someone’s tweet without trying to find out under RTI whether there has been any misuse of the funds.
It said the petitioner made allegations that monies from it were used in advertisements by the Delhi government. Delhi government standing counsel Santosh K Tripathi told the court that not a penny can be spent from that fund on advertisements. The court said it appeared to be a motivated plea and directed that the costs imposed be deposited in favour of the legal services authority within four weeks.
Another plea, by an organisation founded by DU students, had sought directions to the Delhi government to take an undertaking from patients, who want plasma, that they will donate plasma and that too within 14 to 28 days after testing negative. The court dismissed the plea by Think Act Rise Foundation with costs of Rs 10,000 saying it cannot direct the Delhi government for making it compulsory for patients to donate plasma.