SC imposes Rs 10 lakh on Bihar assembly lawmaker

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday imposed a cost of Rs 10 lakh on Bihar assembly lawmaker for resorting to frivolous litigation over the veracity of a newspaper article that had appeared more than 22 year ago.

The bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud imposed the cost on Ravinder Singh, a sitting lawmaker from Arwal assembly constituency in Jahanabad district of Bihar.

Singh had challenged the Patna High Court December 6, 2016 order which dismissed Singh’s plea, questioning the veracity of an article that had appeared in 1994 in a local newspaper Nyaya Chakra.

Imposing the cost, the bench said: “We fail to understand what prompted the petitioner to file writ petition in respect of an article published in 1994.”

“The court was explicit and clear in its order. The instant appeal is uncondonable and more so by a people’s representative who can’t be expected to misuse the jurisdiction of the court,” the apex court bench said in its order.

Having said this, the court said: “We impose an exemplary cost of Rs 10 lakh. If the cost is not paid in four weeks, the matter would be listed for the recovery of cost.”

As counsel for the lawmaker urged the bench the cost was high, it said that the cost should have been higher as the people’s representative was engaged in uncondonable activity leading to wastage of judicial time.