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Supreme Court junks PIL against Arun Jaitley, fines lawyer Rs 50,000

The Supreme Court bench expressed displeasure at the way Sharma had made the finance minister the main party in the PIL. Although, the lawyer offered to delete the minister’s name, the bench was still not inclined to hear the matter.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2018 21:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Supreme Court,PIL against Arun Jaitley,Arun Jaitley
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a PIL accusing finance minister Arun Jaitley of seeking to tap the capital reserves of the RBI to waive loans to big corporate houses.(Vipin Kumar / HT Photo)

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a public interest litigation accusing finance minister Arun Jaitley of seeking to tap the capital reserves of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to waive loans to big corporate houses and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the petitioner, advocate ML Sharma.

“We find no reason whatsoever to entertain this PIL,” said a bench led by chief justice Ranjan Gogoi. The bench, also comprising justice SK Kaul, restrained the top court registry from accepting any fresh petition filed by Sharma until he deposits the fine.

The bench expressed displeasure at the way Sharma had made the finance minister the main party in the PIL. Although, the lawyer offered to delete the minister’s name, the bench was still not inclined to hear the matter. It warned the lawyer of heavy costs but Sharma remained adamant and advanced arguments, forcing the bench to impose the fine.

Once the order was dictated, Sharma urged the court to do away with the fine. He said the petition was not related to his private concerns but dealt with a public issue. The judges remained unconvinced even as Sharma said he had stopped his practice because of health reasons.

Before the court dismissed Sharma’s petition, it praised him for his past work. “What kind of PIL is this? Just because you have done some good work does not mean you can go on like this. You cannot go on with such misadventure. What exactly is this? You are saying the finance minister is plundering the capital reserve of the RBI,” CJI Gogoi told Sharma.

The lawyer made an attempt to explain his petition, but the bench said, “We do not subscribe to such plea and picking on people. You are not bringing honour to this institution. Why do we permit you to go ahead with this PIL?”

First Published: Dec 07, 2018 21:09 IST