The Supreme Court has dismissed the plea of a Thane-based journalist who had made an allegation of bias against former Chief Justice of Bombay High Court Justice Pradeep Nandrajog.

A Bench of Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Bela M Trivedi refused to entertain an appeal of Sapan Srivastava, who claims himself to be a journalist, against whom a fine of Rs 5 lakh was imposed by a high court bench headed by Nandrajog, since retired, for misusing the PIL jurisdiction.

"We see no reason to interfere. The view taken by the High Court does not call for any interference. The Special Leave Petition is, therefore, dismissed", the Bench said in its order on October 21.

Sapan Srivastava appeared in person while Advocates Shoumendu Mukherji and Anish Agarwal appeared for the Respondents.

Srivastava had filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court in 2019 seeking a direction to stop the operation of the Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) alleging that the education board lacked the requisite approval from the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.

The High Court had dismissed the PIL while imposing a cost of Rs 5 lakh on Srivastava.

The Supreme Court, at the start of the hearing, suggested though, it would not interfere with the high court decision, it will think over reducing the cost imposed on him.

I will like to exhaust all the remedies, Srivastava said while reiterating his allegation against Nandrajog. The Bench then proceeded to dismiss the appeal without interfering with the fine aspect.

Srivastava had suggested since Justice Nandrajog, now retired, had received education from an ICSE school he was biased and cannot be a judge in his own cause.

The High Court, while dismissing his PIL, had ordered no other fresh PILs to be filed by him will be entertained till he deposits the fine.

Justice Nandrajog, who was appointed as a judge of the Delhi High Court on December 20, 2002, retired as the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court on February 23, 2020.

Cause Title: Sapan Srivastava v. Ministry of Human Resource Development & Ors.

Click here to read/download Order

With PTI inputs