Delhi HC Imposes ₹ 1 Lakh Costs On Advocate Seeking List Of Private Liquor Vendors Allegedly Harassed By CBI And ED
The Delhi High Court has imposed costs to the tune of ₹1 Lakh on an Advocate who sought the list of 186 private liquor vendors who were allegedly harassed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and by the Directorate of Enforcement.
"…the present petition is nothing but a sheer abuse of the process of law and therefore, the present petition is dismissed at admission stage itself with costs of Rs.1,00,000/- (Rupees One Lakh) to be paid to the Army War Widows Fund within a period of 30 days from today.", the Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad held.
Petitioner-Advocate Narinder Khanna had stated that he heard a news/ statement on "India TV" Channel made by the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi that the Central Investigating Agencies were harassing private liquor vendors.
The petitioner further stated that the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi has confirmed that on closure of private liquor shops, heavy loss was caused to the State Exchequer resulting in loss of livelihood to 176 private liquor vendors.
The petitioner sought the list of 186 private liquor vendors allegedly harassed by the CBI and by ED and also sought a direction to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi to identify persons who caused harassment to liquor vendors.
Standing Counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi appeared for GNCTD, Special Public Prosecutor, Suman Chauhan appeared for CBI and CGSC Anurag Ahluwalia appeared for ED. Advocate Rahul Raj represented KVIC whereas Advocate Arkaj Kumar represented Lieutenant Governor.
Terming the petition as nothing but sheer abuse of law, the High Court held thus "The petitioner has not named a single officer of the CBI, or of the Directorate of Enforcement who has harassed a single liquor vendor, nor has he given details of any kind of such harassment and based upon the so-called press releases/ statement made in the press, he wants a roving inquiry to be done by this Court. The present petition is nothing but a sheer abuse of the process of law and the petitioner wants a roving inquiry to be done by this Court based upon vague and absurd allegations."
Accordingly, the Court imposed Rs. 1 Lakh costs on the petitioner and directed it to be paid to the Army War Widows Fund within 30 days.
"It is made clear that if the amount is not paid within 30 days from today, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, New Delhi District will recover the amount as arrears of land revenue and shall transfer the same to the Army War Widows Fund with intimation to the Registrar General of this Court.", the Court held while dismissing the petition.
Cause Title- Narinder Khanna v. Govt of Delhi & Ors.