Review plea challenging order on CJI Chandrachud's appointment dismissed by Delhi HC

The litigant Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari urged before the bench that not only was his PIL dismissed by a bench led by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma without allowing him to read his petition in full.

Jal khambataUpdated: Monday, January 16, 2023, 05:04 PM IST
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CJI DY Chandrachud | PTI

The Delhi High Court Monday rejected a review plea against an order dismissing the challenge to the appointment of Justice D Y Chandrachud as the 50th Chief Justice of India last November.

A division bench of Justices Sanjeev Sachdeva and Vikas Mahajan said, “The review petition appears to be an appeal disguised as a review. Petitioner has not been able to point out any error on the face of the record. No ground has been made out. Petition is consequently dismissed. The review has been filed as a guise to have a rehearing of the (PIL) petition which is not permissible”.

Cost was imposed without providing reasons: petitioner

The litigant Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari urged before the bench that not only was his PIL dismissed by a bench led by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma without allowing him to read his petition in full, but a cost of Rs 1 lakh had been imposed without providing any reasons about the same.

The high court in November last year dismissed Tiwari’s PIL challenging the appointment of the CJI claiming that the provisions of the Constitution had not been followed for his appointment. On Friday, the bench led by Chief Justice Sharma recused from hearing Tiwari’s review plea directing it to be heard by another bench.

Registry did not accept petition since it was in Hindi

He had also sought “strictest disciplinary action” against the secretary general of the Supreme Court and other officers who are “constantly harassing” litigants by violating the Official Language Rules and new appointments should be made in their place who are “Hindi speaking people”. The PIL claimed that the “official language of the Union of India is Hindi”, however, the registry did not accept their petitions as it was filed in Hindi.

Tiwari argued Monday that the high court is an open court yet his friends were not allowed to enter it to hear his case. “What sin have I committed? A cost of 1 lakh was imposed on me for what reason? I was told that my petition is a “publicity stunt”. Kya Hindi ki baat karna publicity stunt hai? ye court kya sirf vakeelon ke liye hain? (Is talking about Hindi a publicity stunt? Are courts only meant for lawyers?).”

Arguments don't come under purview of review plea: Delhi HC

After hearing Tiwari, the bench said his arguments do not come under the purview of a review plea. “The contours of a review plea are limited. If you want to appeal, then this court can’t hear it. You read the Constitution, you will find where you have to approach. Review is filed for error apparent on the face of the record, the same is missing in your plea,” the bench told Tiwari.

“Agar mujhe apraadh pata chalta toh mai faansi par chadd jaata (If I get to know of my crime, I would submit myself to the noose),” Tiwari said to which the bench replied, “faansi” is not the punishment for everything. When Tiwari argued that he was not provided with a copy of the dismissal order in Hindi, the bench told him that he can approach the translation branch of the HC.

To this Tiwari said, “Hindi ki ab ye stithi hai ki uske liye mujhe translation me apply karna padega. English ko itni uunchi stithi di hai (The situation is that I have to now apply for Hindi translation. English is given such a high position).”

HC had earlier called the plea abuse of the process of court

The high court had dismissed Tiwari’s PIL last year holding that it was “a classic case of an action without a cause, full of surmises, conjectures, and wishful thinking”.

The court had said that although it is not a prohibited activity, when it forms part of the grounds of a petition before the court, it “amounts to an abuse of the process of the court”. It opined that such an attempt must be repelled in a manner sending a “tenacious message”.

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