New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday rejected a plea filed by a group of lawyers for lodging an FIR on the allegations made in a purported suicide note of former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Kalikho Pul. The court slapped a fine totalling Rs 2.75 lakh on the petitioners.
The high court said the petition filed by lawyers group 'National Lawyers' Campaign for Judicial Transparency and Reforms', some other lawyers and a law student "did not vouch for the authenticity" of the purported suicide note.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on each of them, totalling to a fine of Rs 2.75 lakh, saying the petitioners were "busy-bodies" making "wild allegations".
The court, however, did not initiate criminal contempt proceedings against the petitioners, as was sought by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The judge rejected the plea saying it was based on "mere hearsay" as none of the 11 petitioners had affirmed any of the facts alleged in their plea.
The court noted that while the petition was based on the purported suicide note, "none of the petitioners have seen the original letter or accessed it".
"None of the petitioners can vouch for the authenticity of the note," it said, adding no one appeared to be ready to "stick their neck out" or "vouch for anything" in the plea.
The court said the petition has been filed merely on information received on instant messaging platform WhatsApp and was "without any basis".
The petitioners, represented by advocate Mathews J Nedumpara, said it was for the police or the CBI to ascertain whether the letter was original and the allegations contained in it were true.
The lawyer said his clients believed it to be true and that was why the petition was filed.
The court refused to accept the contention saying "none of the petitioners were in a position to affirm any of the facts alleged in the petition".
"In view of the above, it appears that petitioners are mere busy-bodies and have filed the petition making wild allegations. The petition is dismissed with costs of Rs 25,000 on each of the petitioner," the court said.
Pul had committed suicide on 9 August last year and his body was found hanging in the official residence of the Chief Minister at Itanagar.
After months of intense political developments, Pul had taken over the reins of Arunachal Pradesh on 19 February, 2016 for a brief period but had to relinquish the job following a Supreme Court order in July 2016.
The plea had sought lodging of the FIR and a "cautious and discreet" probe against some former and serving persons holding constitutional posts, as also against some politicians.
The Supreme Court on 23 February had allowed Pul's widow, Dangwimsai Pul, to withdraw her letter for CBI or National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into the allegations.
Later, she had written a fresh letter to Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi and M B Lokur seeking permission to lodge an FIR for probe into graft charges against highly-placed persons, contained in Pul's alleged suicide note.
This letter was not addressed to Chief Justice of India J S Khehar and the second senior-most judge Justice Dipak Misra.
Published Date: May 22, 2017 21:06 PM | Updated Date: May 22, 2017 21:06 PM