The Bombay High Court has deprecated the practice of litigants in levelling allegations against dignitaries holding senior-most positions, like the country’s Prime Minister, Home Minister and Chief Minister of Maharashtra, on frivolous grounds.
“Merely because of a person’s right to approach a court of law to seek redressal of their grievances, people cannot indulge in targeting high dignitaries by naming them as contemnors or guilty of any crime,” a division bench of justices S C Dharmadhikari and Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi said.
The court was hearing a petition filed by woman-son duo Mohini Kamwani (81) and Dilip Kamwani (61), both senior citizens, seeking contempt action against the state chief minister, Home minister, law minister, chief secretary, director general of police and Navi Mumbai police chief.
The petitioners’ case is that the contemnors failed to lodge complaint against Deputy Superintendent of Police Laxman Kale and Assistant Commissioner Raosaheb Sardesai, as directed by the high court in an October 2015 order, for illegally arresting the petitioners in 2012.
The HC had in June 2013 on a petition filed by the duo directed the government to pay a compensation of Rs. three lakh each to them and said the petitioners can file complaint with the magistrate court if they wish to initiate criminal action against the two police officials who arrested them.
According to the Kamwanis, they approached the magistrate court which directed police to probe the matter but no FIR was lodged.
The high court on July 21 dismissed Kamwanis’ petition and held that the police has already registered FIR in the case and probe was on.
“We deprecate the tendency of the applicants and other litigants to make allegations against high dignitaries, including the Prime Minister of India, Home Minister of India, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, the Chief Secretary of the State and so on,” the judges said.
The HC said that people should understand that the dignity and status of these posts need to be safeguarded and protected.