An irritated Supreme Court bench on Monday imposed a fine of Rs.10,000 on an advocate for seeking narco-analysis tests on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and three former chief ministers. The lawyer alleged the politicians were involved in "running a transfer and posting industry".
However, the fine was waived following an appeal by eminent jurist Ram Jethmalani.
A furious bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam imposed the cost on advocate Samar Singh, repeatedly questioning him on what he knew of narco-analysis tests that he was seeking "for four chief ministers".
Singh, who belongs to Uttar Pradesh's Gonda district and practises in Allahabad High Court, had moved the apex court seeking its direction for subjecting Mayawati and former chief ministers Rajnath Singh, Kalyan Singh and Mulayam Singh Yadav to the tests.
He alleged that successive governments under the chief ministers were "running a transfer and posting industry" by extracting money from government officials in exchange for lucrative postings.
Singh argued that the narco-analysis tests would help find where all the money from the state's "mushrooming transfer and posting industry" has gone.
But Singh's plea left the bench very angry with Chief Justice Balakrishnan repeatedly asking Singh: "You have sought narco-analysis for four chief ministers? Do you know what is narco-analysis?"
"It's brain mapping," fumbled Singh, in a bid to explain the meaning of the process, but the bench cut him short, insisting upon a proper explanation of the term.
"Mister, you are a lawyer. You cannot do such things. You earlier filed a writ petition in the Allahabad High Court and not satisfied (with the high court's dismissal of your petition) you have come here."
The bench eventually imposed a fine of Rs.10,000 on Singh for filing what the court termed as a "frivolous" lawsuit.
This left Singh pleading with the court to waive the fine, saying that he was not an affluent person.
At this, eminent jurist Jethmalani, who was also in the court room and waiting for his turn to ague another case, ventured to pay the fine in lieu of Singh.
On Jethmalani's magnanimous gesture, the court waived the fine.