SC issues warrants against NGO chairperson for not depositing Rs 25 lakh fine


PTI, Feb 13, 2021, 3:36 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has issued bailable warrants against the chairperson of an NGO for not depositing the cost of Rs 25 lakh imposed on it for filing 64 PILs over the years without any success and “repeatedly misusing” the jurisdiction of the top court.

A bench comprising Justices S K Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy said the petitioner-Trust and its chairperson Rajiv Daiya were playing “ducks and drakes” with the Court.

The top court on December 5, 2017, refused to modify its earlier order against NGO Suraz India Trust for filing 64 PILs.

It had dismissed the plea filed by the NGO to modify the apex court”s May 1 order which also barred the organisation from filing any plea before any court across the country.

Since the costs were not deposited with the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Welfare Trust, the matter was put up again before the apex court and notice was issued on September 29, last year.

The top court had issued direction to the NGO to disclose the movable and immovable assets of the petitioner which was not complied with.

Later, a request was made by the chairperson of the petitioner-Trust for providing note sheets on the basis with which the directions have been sought by the Registry in the present application.

The top court said, “We fail to appreciate the stand of the petitioner-Trust as to the relevancy of the note sheets as all that was required was costs to be deposited by him, which order has not been complied with. It is thus apparent that the petitioner-Trust and Rajiv Daiya are playing ducks and drakes with the Court.

“Let bailable warrants issue for production of Rajiv Daiya in the sum of Rs.25,000/- with one surety of the like amount. The warrants be enforced by the local police station and the proceedings will be conducted virtually,” the bench said.

The apex court had on May 1, 2017 taken the punitive step and imposed a hefty cost on the NGO saying waste of judicial time was a matter of serious concern.

The top court had also said such practises have to be dealt with sternly to prevent misuse of the courts by such individuals “who have nothing to do but only cast scandalous and imaginary aspersions”.

On 64 occasions when the Suraz India Trust had approached the court, it did not get any success, the court had noted.

Referring to the details of the matters filed by the NGO and the various orders passed by the apex court, the bench headed by the then Chief Justice J S Khehar had said it “leaves no doubt that Suraz India Trust has repeatedly misused the jurisdiction of this court”.

The apex court had on April 24, 2017, rapped the NGO and its chief for wasting judicial time.

It had issued notice to the NGO for filing 64 petitions over the years under the garb of public interest litigation and Daiya to show cause why he should be allowed to continue filing cases.

The top court had handed over to him a compilation of the 64 pleas filed by him in the nature of writ petitions and review petitions and asked him to respond to the notice.

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