Kerala High Court

Kerala High Court: In a Criminal Writ Petition seeking Writ of Mandamus to suspend several officials from their duties due to undue influence violating Constitution of India, oath and disobedience of law, to direct the Court Registrar not to intervene in rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India and to register Writ Petitions based on merit and substance without being affected by nomenclature or prayers, Bechu Kurian Thomas, J. dismissed the same with costs while slamming the petitioner for abuse and misuse of Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

The public servants in the instant petition included the Chief Secretary, the Home Secretary, the Law Secretary, the Director General of Police, the Additional Director Generals of Police and various Police Officers of different ranks.

The Court observed that although the petitioner made detailed pleadings, there was no reference to specific act committed by the public servants while seeking their suspension. The Court further pointed out that a reading of pleadings in the instant case only reveals vagueness being insufficient to grant any relief.

The Court slammed the petitioner for raising aimless allegations against the public functionaries without any supporting material. The Magistrate earlier dismissed a complaint filed by the petitioner after finding that there were no sufficient grounds to proceed against the accused public servants. The Court observed that the petitioner is legally entitled to challenge the said order by Magistrate, but the nature of reliefs sought through the instant petition amounted to abuse and misuse of Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

The point that Court Registry noted defects in his petitions affecting his rights under the Constitution, the Court found itself unable to comprehend the petitioner’s contentions. The Court pointed out that “One of the functions bestowed upon the Registry is to scrutinize the petitions filed before the Court. Rule 15 and Rule 50 of the Kerala High Court Rules 1971 confer power upon the Registry to notice defects if any, in the petitions or applications filed before the Court.”

The Court regarded the reliefs claimed in the instant petition as ‘odious and repugnant to the orderly filing of Writ Petitions’. It further made it clear that the tendency of filing baseless Writ Petitions to threaten the system into ridicule cannot be permitted. The Court added that “Access to justice, though a fundamental right, cannot be extended to a right to prefer misconceived and frivolous petitions.”

The Court held that where there is no violation of any specific right, a person cannot approach the High Court under Article 226. The Court commented that reliefs claimed were on an experimental basis, in bad taste, compelling the Court to impose costs as a disincentive for indulging in such frivolous petitions.

The Court while relying on Buddhi Kota Subbarao (Dr) v. K. Parasaran, (1996) 5 SCC 530 regarding misuse of easy access to justice, dismissed the instant petition with costs of Rs 25,000 payable to the Kerala Legal Services Authority.

[Asif Azad v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine Ker 1950, Judgment dated 3-4-2023]

Judgment by: Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For Petitioner: Advocate Asif Azad (Party-in-Person);

For Respondents: Deputy Solicitor General of India S. Manu, Public Prosecutor Sri P. Narayanan.

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