Terming him a “vexatious” petitioner, the Punjab and Haryana high court has imposed a cost of Rs 2 lakh on a Faridkot journalist, who had filed petitions against one and all in state machinery, including deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
The single-judge bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the petitioner, Naresh Kumar Sehgal, to deposit the money within two months failing which the local district and sessions judge has been asked to recover the money by using “coercive methods”.
The high court registry has also been directed to append the order with all petitions he had filed in the court on future hearings.
HAS FILED 300 PETITION SINCE 2003
The direction came from the single-judge bench of justice Mahesh Grover, who was told on Friday that Sehgal had filed more than 300 petitions since 2003, as many as 287 up to 2013 while a dozen-odd were presently going on before the various benches of the high court. The court was also told that 16 such petitions were listed for hearing for August 20.
ALLEGES THREAT FROM DEPUTY CM
In this case filed in April, Sehgal had sought directions that he be provided with security cover alleging threat to him from the deputy chief minister against whom he had filed an election petition besides other cases. On April 23, the government told the court that his grievance would be looked into. However, on July 24 the government told the court that he was a “habitual litigant” and gave details of the cases filed by him.
“After filing of the instant petition where the court passed an order on April 23, 2015, the petitioner filed a contempt petition alleging its non-compliance and despite notice having been issued and reply filed on the very first date, the petitioner defaulted in prosecuting the case leading to its dismissal on May 29, 2015,” the government told the court stating that In July, he filed a fresh petition making multifarious prayers, including the one of his security.
DOESN’T DISCLOSE DETAILS OF PETITIONS
“He does not disclose the pendency of the instant petition and the order passed by the court. Rather, he goes on to say that no such or similar petition has been filed by the petitioner,” the court was informed stating that he had been seeking advancement of hearing in many cases without disclosing details of other petitions which amounted to contempt of court.
The bench termed his tactics “misadventurism” and imposed the cost stating that the court’s time wasted by him could have been used for hearing the matters pertaining to the public interest.