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Supreme Court refuses to entertain a PIL filed by lawyer ML Sharma seeking cancellation of 2019 general elections

Manohar Lal Sharma is notorious for filling frivolous Public Interest Litigations (PIL) and earning court’s wrath

The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a PIL filed by lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma who had last month questioned the use of EVMs in elections and sought the cancellation of recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.

Justice Rohinton Nariman shrugged off Sharma’s request by expressing his surprise over Sharma’s frivolous appeal, “What are you asking for Mr Sharma? You want us to set aside the entire Lok Sabha elections?” Justice Nariman exclaimed.

Last month the SC had also squashed Manohar Lal’s urgent hearing plea in the case. Sharma had on June 13 approached the SC seeking its direction to conduct fresh Lok Sabha polls using ballot papers.

In his petition, Sharma had claimed that as per the Representation of Peoples (RP) Act, the election can only be held using the ballot papers, and it cannot use Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to conduct the poll.

In December last year, advocate Manohar Lal Sharma, who is notorious for filling frivolous Public Interest Litigations (PIL) and earning court’s wrath and who had to pay fines several times, had come up with another petition against the Home Ministry, specifying which agencies can intercept electronic devices on people under surveillance for security reasons.

On December 20, 2018, the ministry of home affairs had issued a gazette order under the Information Technology Act, 2000 and Information Technology Rules 2009, which specified 10 investigating agencies which are authorized to monitor and intercept messages in computer devices. After the notification, opposition parties made a huge and cry alleging that the government has allowed the agencies to snoop on common citizens.

A careful reading of the order had, however, made it clear that the agencies are authorized to ‘snoop’ only on select cases of threat to integrity and security of the country, a threat to law and order and incitement to any cognizable offence.

Prior to this, Sharma was slapped with a fine of Rs 50000 by the SC while quashing a petition by the advocate against finance minister Arun Jaitley. He had alleged plundering of RBI reserves by the government to waive loans of some companies.

Reprimanding Sharma for the petition, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had said that the day has come to ban him from filing PILs. The court made such remark due to the history of Sharma’s petitions. Before this, he was fined ₹50,000 and ₹25,000 by the court on two occasions in 2014 for wasting the court’s time with frivolous petitions.

On December 14, ML Sharma had lost another high profile petition, when the apex court rejected the plea for a court-monitored probe in the Rafale deal. Sharma was first to file a petition against the deal, who was later joined by others including Prashant Bhushan and Arun Shourie with similar petitions in the supreme court.

Sharma had also angered the Supreme Court for filing a PIL in the Unnao rape case. The court had asked if some relative of Sharma has been raped, as he was not connected with the case. Court had dismissed the petition saying PIL can’t be filed in a criminal case, questioning the locus of Sharma in the case.

ML Sharm has filed petitions in a range of issues like opposing Pratibha Patil’s candidature as president, against Ranbaxy, seeking to curb powers of ministers, against the movie Padmaavat, to know the detail on the disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose etc, all of which were dismissed by courts.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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