NEW DELHI: In a stern message, Chief Justice of India T S Thakur slammed frivolous Public Interest Litigations (PILs) and dismissed several petitions in the past one week, stating that petitions meant for making money and publicity won’t be entertained at all.
Dismissing a PIL demanding that people in India have lost the moral values should be taught it afresh for betterment of society, Justice Thakur said: “It is high time, judiciary should teach such petitioners a lesson and a heavy cost should be imposed on them.”
Last month, while hearing a PIL seeking directions for removal of encroachment on pavements across the country, Justice Thakur said the SC cannot order the establishment of “Ram rajya” and cannot do things it wanted to due to its limited capacity as an institution. “Do you think with our directions, everything will be done? Do you (petitioner) think we will pass an order that there will be no corruption in the country and all corruption will go? Should we pass an order that there will be Ram rajya in the country? It cannot be like this,” CJI Thakur said.
A PIL sought to change the name of India to Bharat. Justice Thakur was scathing in his dismissal of the petition. “We don’t want to interfere. Whatever you call it, India remains India, Bharat remains Bharat,” he said. “PIL is for some poor people. You think we have nothing else to do?”
On another PIL demanding moral value be added as a subject in schools, the CJI said: “How can you bring these academic issues? (It’s for) people who are affected. We will not entertain petitions from public interest activists who come here for publicity... Unless there is something very serious that affects someone, we will not entertain (it).”
Thakur’s remarks indicate a toughening judicial stance against frivolous PILs. The SC’s approach may set an example for lower courts to follow.
Earlier this year, Justice Thakur questioned the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), a non-government organisation that brought issues, including irregularities in the 2008 2G spectrum scam, to the notice of the court.