On Friday 30th July, the Supreme Court rejected a submission that sought for reducing of cost of Rs.5 lakhs levied on Mukesh Jain for filing a writ petition challenging the employment of Justice Dipak Misra as the Chief Justice of India.
A division bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah labelled the application “misconceived” and also pointed out that even in his application seeking for reduction of costs the applicant had made groundless accusations against the judges of the Supreme Court.
The bench instructed that the costs must be claimed from the petitioner as arrears of land revenue by the competent authority. Further, it was ordered that no PIL in the future will be considered by the Supreme Court except if the petitioner presents the evidence of deposit of the costs. The bench also directed the current order to be placed on record along with any other PIL filed by Mukesh Jain in future.
Mukesh Jain with controversial self-proclaimed Godman Swami Om (now deceased) had filed the petition in 2017 questioning the suggestions made by the then Chief Justice of India JS Kehar to elect Justice Dipak Misra as his successor. The Supreme Court had in August 2017 dismissed the petition terming it as a “publicity stunt” and charging the petitioners with costs of Rupees 10 lakhs. In 2019, the costs were reduced by Rs 5 lakhs on an appeal made by the petitioners.
Swami Om passed away in February 2021. The current application looking for the lessening of the costs was filed by Mukesh Jain in June 2021. Advocate Dr AP Singh appeared for Mukesh Jain and informed the bench that the applicant is in judicial custody in Balasore jail in Odisha in a case related to WhatsApp messages posted against the Chief Justice of India over the denial of the Court to permit Rath Yatra.
Mukesh Jain, National Chairman of Dharma Rakshyak Shri Dara Sena, had lately posted WhatsApp messages summoning for assault of the CJI after the Court rejected approval for Rath Yatra in temples in Odisha during the COVID-19 pandemic. This led to registering of FIRs against him in Odisha. The Orissa High Court had recently approved his bail in one of such cases.