Fair Criticism Of Judgment Is Permissible: Bombay HC While Dismissing PIL Against Remarks On Collegium System, Basic Structure Doctrine
The Bombay High Court has observed that fair criticism of a judgment is permissible, while dismissing a PIL against Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju and Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar over their remarks against the Collegium System and the Basic Structure Doctrine.
The Court has also held that the credibility of the Supreme Court is sky-high and it cannot be eroded or impinged by the statements of individuals.
“The credibility of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India is sky-high. It cannot be eroded or impinged by the statements of individuals.”, the division bench of Acting Chief Justice S.V.Gangapurwala and Justice Sandeep V. Marne observed.
The Court also noted that the Indian Constitution is supreme and sacrosanct and every citizen is bound by the Constitution and is expected to abide by the constitutional values.
The Court further added that the constitutional institutions are to be respected by all, including constitutional authorities and persons holding constitutional posts.
In this case, the Bombay Lawyers Association had approached the High Court seeking directions to declare that the Law Minister and the Vice President have disqualified themselves to hold the constitutional post by their conduct and by attacking its institutions including Supreme Court.
Advocate Ahmad Abdi appeared for the petitioner whereas Anil C. Singh, Additional Solicitor General, appeared for Respondents.
The Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the Vice President and the Law Minister launched frontal attack on the institution of judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court in derogatory language without any recourse.
The Counsel further added that they are also guilty of committing contempt of Court by lowering the authority of the Supreme Court. Thus the petitioner sought directions to restrain them from discharging their duty as cabinet Minister of Union of India and as Vice President of India.
On the other hand, the Additional Solicitor General submitted that the PIL was filed for publicity purposes and that it is false and frivolous.
The Court noted that the constitutional authorities cannot be removed in the manner as suggested by the Petitioner. It further added that fair criticism of the judgment is permissible and that it is the fundamental duty of every citizen to abide by the Constitution.
Considering the totality of the facts, the Court observed that it was not a fit case to invoke writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution in entertaining the PIL. Thus the Court dismissed the PIL.
Cause Title- Bombay Lawyers Association v. Jagdeep Dhankar & Ors.