DSLSA moves HC for recovery of Rs 20 lakh cost imposed on Juhi Chawla

PTI, Jan 21, 2022, 2:05 PM IST

 New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Friday said it will hear on February 3 a plea by Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) seeking the execution of the order directing Juhi Chawla and two others to deposit Rs 20 lakh as costs in its favour on a lawsuit against the 5G technology.

Counsel for the Bollywood actress told Justice Amit Bansal that an appeal against the single judge order is pending before a division bench, which will be considered on January 25, and urged the court to defer hearing on the execution petition for the time being.

Lawyer Saurabh Kansal, appearing for DSLSA, submitted that the order imposing costs was passed in June and is yet to be complied with.

He claimed that the appeal against the order was filed only after DSLSA sent a notice for recovery and no stay has been granted by the division bench.

“Let us see what happens before the division bench,” said the court while deferring the hearing on the execution petition.

Lawyer Deepak Khosla, appearing for Chawla and other respondents, stated that the single judge did not have the jurisdiction to impose costs.

In the execution petition filed through lawyers Saurabh Kansal and Pallavi S Kansal, DSLSA has sought “assistance” from the court by seeking issuance of warrants of attachment and sale of the movable and immovable properties for recovery or directions for civil imprisonment of Chawla and others.

“More than 7 months have passed since this Hon’ble court had imposed cost upon Plaintiffs (Chawla and others), which was directed to be paid within seven days to DSLSA, but the Plaintiffs have failed to deposit the cost imposed by this Hon’ble Court,” the plea submitted.

In June last year, a single judge had described the lawsuit by Chawla and two others against 5G roll out as ”defective”, ”abuse of process of law” and filed for ”gaining publicity” while dismissing it with costs of Rs 20 lakh to be deposited with DSLSA within a week.

While dismissing the lawsuit, Justice J R Midha had said the plaint in which questions have been raised about health hazards due to the 5G technology was ”not maintainable” and was ”stuffed with unnecessary scandalous, frivolous and vexatious averments” which are liable to be struck down.

The single judge had said the suit filed by actress-environmentalist and others was to gain publicity which was clear as Chawla circulated the video conferencing link of the hearing on her social media account which resulted in the repeated disruptions thrice by unknown miscreants who continued disruptions despite repeated warnings.

In her appeal before the division bench of the high court, the actress and other appellants have contended that the single judge dismissed the plea and imposed costs without any jurisdiction and contrary to the settled law.

It is claimed that a plaint can be dismissed only after it has been allowed to be registered as a suit. The appellants have further reiterated their concerns surrounding the harmful impact of 5g technology and submitted, “every day that the 5g trials are allowed to continue constitutes a distinct and imminent danger to the health of the people who reside in the vicinity of the area where the trials are being conducted.” The lawsuit had sought a direction to the authorities to certify to the public at large how 5G technology is safe to humans, animals and every type of living organism, flora and fauna.

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