Delhi High Court on the 13th of April dismissed a plea seeking door-to-door Covid-19 vaccine in the city. The PIL was filed by a law student Mrigank Mishra whose father is also an advocate. A two-Judge Bench comprising of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Amit Bansal heard the plea. During the hearing, the court pointed out that the petitioner had not done his homework before submitting the plea.
‘We don’t have the wherewithal to decide all this’
The court was not pleased with the plea from the very beginning of the hearing. When advocate Ashish Mohan, appearing for the petitioner, sought directions from the court to widen the involvement of private players, the court asked if similar petitions were considered by the court before or not. The court said, “We don’t have the wherewithal to decide all this.”
Advocate Ashish mohan: First issue is widening of involvement of private bodies.— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) April 13, 2021
Have these issues not being repeatedly considered by court? : Court
Not this issue: Mohan
What is this. We don’t have the wherewithal to decide all this : Court
Petitioner came without any homework on vaccine data
During the hearing, the court noticed that the petitioner had not done his homework on the Covid-19 vaccine availability. The court asked the petitioner if he knew how many vaccines per day are being administered. Adv Mohan replied 100 per session, and there are four sessions.
100 per session. There are four sessions : Mohan— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) April 13, 2021
How many per day then? : Court
I’ll calculate: Mohan
Say without calculation: Court
It has to be noted that the petitioner did not mention how many total vaccines are being administered in the state of Delhi. As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Delhi has administered vaccines to over 22,35,000 people so far, out of which 18,55,000+ have got 1st dose while 3,80,000+ have got both the shots.
The court said, “We are prima facie of the view that court doesn’t have the wherewithal to deal with such matters which require empirical data. Not sure if petitioner did his homework before filing the petition.”
We are prima facie of the view that court doesn’t have the wherewithal to deal with such matters which require empirical data.— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) April 13, 2021
Not sure if Petitoner did his homework before filing the petition: Court
‘Campus law centre is not keeping you busy, it seems’
When the court noticed that the petitioner was attending the hearing, they asked him about his education. He informed me that he was a final year student at Campus Law Centre. The court asked him if he thinks a law student can decide what the government should do about the vaccination program. The court remarked, “Campus law centre is not keeping you busy, it seems”.
Law student will decide? : Court— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) April 13, 2021
He’s approaching. So that Court can do : Mohan
Court notices Petitoner Mrigank Mishra is attending the hearing.
What does your father do? Campus law centre is not keeping you busy it seems : Court
‘Petition is drafted for the sake of publicity’
In its order, the court said that the petitioner seems to have not done his homework about the vaccine availability and expressed anguish over the shallowness with which the petition was drafted for the ‘sake of publicity.’ The court added, “Since Petitioner has understood the consequences and in future would not indulge in such litigation, we are not imposing cost.”
We find the petition to have been filed without any serious intent, for the sake of publicity… Petitoner seeks to withdraw: Court— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) April 13, 2021
Since Petitoner has understood the consequences and in future would not indulge in such litigation, we are not imposing cost: Court
When Advocate Mohan requested the court to tone down the order as it may hamper the future of the ‘young lawyer’, the court agreed and said, “We will tone it down. Everybody is in such a haste that their names (appear) in LiveLaw and Bar & Bench.”
Mohan says the order may be problematic for the young lawyer.— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) April 13, 2021
Alright we will tone it down. Everybody is in such a haste that their names in LiveLaw and Bar & Bench: Court
Supreme Court had expressed displeasure over filing frivolous PILs
In May 2020, a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice NV Ramana and comprising Justices SK Kaul and BR Gavai said the concept of the PIL had been forgotten, as lawyers keep filing petitions on “what they feel is possible”. “This is not public interest litigation,” observed the bench.
The observation from the apex court came after a batch of petitions were filed citing gaps in the RBI circular issued on March 27, granting a three-month moratorium on repayment of term loans by borrowers, which meant they would not have to pay loan EMI instalments during the moratorium period. The bench junking the PILs said there was no aggrieved party before it.