SC Imposes Rs 5 Lakh Fine on Man for Challenging HC Chief Justice’s “Defective Oath”

New Delhi: The Supreme Court fined a man of Rs 5 lakh for filing a PIL claiming that the oath taken by the Bombay High Court chief justice was “defective”.

A bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud termed the PIL as a frivolous attempt to gain publicity. The top court was hearing a PIL filed by Ashok Pandey contending that he is aggrieved by what he described as a ‘defective oath’ administered to the Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature at Bombay.

“The petitioner does not, as he possibly cannot, dispute that the oath of office was administered to the correct person. The oath having been administered by the Governor and having been subscribed to after the administration of the oath, such objections cannot be raised.

“We are clearly of the view that such frivolous PILs occupy the time and attention of the Court thereby deflecting the attention of the court from more serious matters and consuming the infrastructure of the judicial manpower and Registry of the Court,” the bench also comprising Justice JB Padriwala and Justice Manoj Misra said.

“We accordingly dismiss the petition with costs of Rs 5,00,000, which shall be deposited by the petitioner in the Registry of this Court within a period of four weeks,” the bench said.

The top court said that if the cost is not deposited within the aforesaid period, the same shall be collected as arrears of land revenue through the Collector and District Magistrate at Lucknow.

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