The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a PIL, deeming it “frivolous.” The petitioner had sought a direction to reinstate Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya as the Bombay High Court Chief Justice because he did not take the oath as prescribed under the Constitution. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on the lawyer who filed the petition.
The PIL contended that when Justice Upadhyaya assumed office as Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court on July 29, he did not use the expression ‘I’ before stating his name, which was contrary to the third schedule of the Constitution.
A bench led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud reprimanded Lucknow-based lawyer Ashok Pandey, saying, “There is a limit to frivolity.” The court observed that frivolous PILs consume the court’s time and divert its attention from more important matters. Initially, the bench considered imposing an anticipatory cost of Rs one lakh before hearing the PIL, but later, it heard the case briefly and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000.
The bench emphasized, “We have to sit down and read these matters and burn our midnight oil… This is quite serious.” The PIL sought the administration of a fresh oath to Justice D K Upadhyay as Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court and alleged that the Governor and Chief Minister of Goa, Daman and Diu were not invited to the swearing-in ceremony.