SC was Taken Aback by Petition Filed Under Article 32, Seeking Declaration that Fundamental Right was Unconstitutional

Judge Gavel Law Insider

Aastha Thakur

Published on: 12 October 2022 at 18:35 IST

The Supreme Court recently rejected the writ petition filed under Article 32 seeking a declaration that the fundamental rights envisaged in Part III of the Constitution were “unconstitutional and void”.

The case of the petitioner was presented before the Division Bench of Justices K.M. Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy. The matter was that the impugned part was “contradictory to the true spirit of the Preamble of the Constitution” and “against the law of nature“.

Justice Hrishikesh Roy ridiculed that in order to plead before the court for the deletion of fundamental rights, Article 32 has been invoked, which also comes under the Fundamental Rights.

At first, Justice Joseph was shocked to hear such a plea and even confirmed with the petitioner regarding the petitions, stating, “… By applying Article 32, you have asked us to issue an appropriate order declaring Part III of the Constitution ultra vires and void ab initio.”

The court expressed its grief regarding misuse of PIL for filing frivolous lis, stating that the purpose behind its introduction was very specific. He said –

“Public interest litigation has reached such a state that a citizen of this country is bringing this kind of prayer.”

On the very question about his profession, the petitioner responded that he is financial and taxation consultant. He is doing this social work only to spread some kind of responsibility among all fractions of society.

The judges were flabbergasted to know that he was an LL.B graduate. In spite of expressing its reservations, the bench allowed the petitioner a chance to submit his arguments. However, it was also clarified then and there that the petitioner has the option to withdraw the petition, at a very meagre cost.

However, the petitioner gave his consent to withdraw the petition. Afterward, Justice Joseph pronounced the following order –

“…Ironically, this petition itself is filed under Article 32 which is a fundamental right under Chapter III which he seeks to be declared as ultra vires and void ab initio. However, the petitioner-in-person seeks to withdraw this petition. Public interest litigation was evolved by this Court with a sublime object.”

“This is a case where the petitioner appears to be completely misguided in filing this petition. However, we are inclined to permit the petitioner to withdraw it but not unconditionally. Accordingly, the petition will stand dismissed as withdrawn. This is subject to the payment of costs of Rs 5000 to the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee within a period of one months.”

Prior to this year, the bench led by Justices B.R. Gavai and Hima Kohli lamented over the mushroom growth of frivolous public interest litigation. It was criticised that such practise only wasted “valuable judicial time”. The bench had observed that such litigation should be nipped in the bud.

Case Title

Human Duties Foundation v. Union of India & Anr. [WP (C) No. 866/2021]

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