SC junks PIL seeking round-the-clock digital monitoring of lawmakers for better governance


PTI, Mar 1, 2024, 2:00 PM IST

The Supreme Court on Friday trashed a PIL seeking a direction to the Centre to digitally monitor MPs and MLAs round the clock for better governance, saying ”there is something called right to privacy also”.

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, Justice J P Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra asked whether the court can put a ”chip” in the body of the lawmakers to track their movement round the clock.

At the outset, the CJI cautioned petitioner Surinder Nath Kundra, a Delhi resident, that he should be ready to pay Rs 5 lakh as a fine for misusing the judicial time on such an issue.

”If you argue and we do not agree with you then a cost of Rs 5 lakh will be recovered from you as land revenue. This is public time and this is not about our ego,” the bench said.

”Do you realise what you are arguing? You want 24/7 monitoring of MPs and MLAs… This is done only for a convicted felon who can flee justice. There is something called right to privacy and we cannot digitally monitor all elected members of Parliament,” it said.

Kundra said the MPs and MLAs, who are ”paid servants of citizens”, start behaving like rulers.

At this, the bench said, ”You cannot make a common charge against all MPs.” The top court said that in all democracies, individuals cannot make laws which have to be enacted through elected lawmakers only.

”Then people will say ok, we do not need judges. We will decide on the streets and kill the offender for theft. Do we want that to happen?” the CJI posed.

The bench said the plea seeking digital monitoring of MPs and MLAs cannot be entertained. ”We place the petitioner on notice of the fact that this court will impose costs if he pursues the cases. However, we desist from imposing costs with a caution that no such plea should be filed in the future,” the CJI said while trashing the PIL.

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