SC quashes PIL against Jait­ley

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - Nation - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­[email protected]­dus­tan­

NEW DELHI: 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 ~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?”

Arun Jait­ley

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