The Delhi High Court recently imposed costs of Rs.50,000 on an Indian employee of a foreign news agency who had approached the High Court alleging racial discrimination and harassment by the foreign news agency while holding that the foreign entity is not amenable to Writ jurisdiction.

The Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad observed thus "The complaint against Respondent No.2/Agence France Press, which is a foreign entity, is not amenable to the writ jurisdiction as there is an employer-employee relationship which by no jurisdiction can be termed as a public function."

Earlier a writ petition was filed by the said employee of the foreign news agency before Single Judge alleging that he was racially discriminated and harassed at the Agence France Press.

The Single Judge had dismissed the writ petition by holding that the Agence France Press is not amenable to writ jurisdiction as it does not have an authority under Article 12 of the Constitution of India and is also not performing any public duty.

An appeal against this decision of the Single Judge was preferred before the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court.

Advocate Raghav Sharma appeared for the appellant whereas Senior Panel Counsel Piyush Beriwal appeared for Union of India. Advocate Krishan Karthik appeared for the foreign news agency.

The Bench observed that Agence France Press was constituted in France and is only a private entity and the Writs are issued for the performance of public duties.

The Court held that the foreign is not amenable to its writ jurisdiction under the Constitution.

The Court further observed thus "The Respondent No.2/Agence France Press cannot be termed as a State under Article 12 of the Constitution of India and is, therefore, not amenable to writ jurisdiction."

"In view of the frivolous petition and appeal filed by the Appellant herein, which has resulted in wastage of precious judicial time, this Court is inclined to impose costs of Rs.50,000/- on the Appellant.", the Court held while dismissing the appeal.

Cause Title- Prakash Singh vs. Union of India & Anr.

Click here to read/download the Judgment