The Supreme Court declined to allow relief to Swami Om’s associate Mukesh Jain from filing a cost of Rs five lakh imposed on him over a Public Interest Litigation filed by him, questioning the appointment of Justice Dipak Misra as the Chief Justice of India.
A Divisional Bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah stated that, “He will have to pay, otherwise we will punish him over here.”
The bench ordered that the award of cost should be recovered from the petitioner as arrears of land revenue by the competent authority.
In addition to the Court ordered that no further PIL will be entertained by the Apex Court until the petitioner produces proof of deposit of the costs.
Mukesh Jain, with a controversial self-styled godman Swami Om (now deceased), had filed the petition in 2017 questioning the commendation made by the then Chief Justice of India JS Kehar to appoint Justice Dipak Misra as his successor.
Labelling the petition as a “publicity stunt”, the Supreme Court had in August 2017 dismissed the petition, slapping the petitioners with costs of Rupees 10 lakhs.
Recently, in 2019, the cost was brought down to Rs 5 lakh on a plea by the petitioners.
Advocate Dr AP Singh, who appeared for the Mukesh Jain, informed the bench that the applicant is in judicial custody in Balasore jail in Odisha in a case in relation with the Whatsapp messages circulated against the Chief Justice of India denying Rath Yatra amid Covid Restrictions.
Thus requesting time as his client is in judicial custody
The Additional Solicitor General vehemently stated that the applicant did not deserve any involvement with regards to the nature of wild allegations made by him against judges.