In the Juhi Chawla debacle around 5G, the Delhi HC on Friday scraped actress-activist Juhi Chawla’s plea on 5G rollout. The Court also observed that Chawla filed the plea “for publicity” and hence, slapped Rs. 20 lakhs as fine. It should be noted that on Wednesday this week, the Delhi HC heard arguments regarding the plea’s amenability and had reserved its order.
On Friday, June 4, the single-judge bench of Justice J.R. Midha at the Delhi HC dismissed the plea of actress-activist Juhi Chawla on technical grounds, claiming that the suit was defective. The Delhi HC also noted that Chawla had “abused” the judiciary process which has led to a lot of time being wasted. The court ultimately ruled that Chawla is to pay a sum of Rs. 20 lakh within 1 week.
On June 2, some mischievous disrupters caused nuisance in the hearing by singing the songs of Juhi Chawla’s films. Justice Midha observed that the actress shared the link on her social media platforms for publicity.
It appears the suit was for publicity. Juhi Chawla circulated a link of the hearing on social media,”
-the High Court said, adding that the Delhi Police identifies the rogue disrupters and take action against them.
“Chawla abused process of law resulting in judicial time’s waste
Justice Midha said-
“The plaintiffs have abused and misused the process of law which has resulted in waste of judicial time. The cost of Rs 20 lakh is imposed on the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs are directed to deposit the cost of Rs 20 lakh with Delhi State Legal Services Authority within one week.”
Further, Justice Midha also added that if Chawla fails to deposit the cost within a week, the Delhi State Legal Services Authority will act accordance to the law and recover the sum.
“Charges are defective and not maintainable”: Justice Midha
During the proceedings, Justice J.R. Midha ruled that the plaint (charge) provided by Chawla was not maintainable and defective on technical grounds. The court observed-
“No case made out for leave to institute suit (under Section 80).. or to sue in representative capacity. Plaint is defective and not maintainable.”
Chawla didn’t comply with Sec 80 of CPC and broke other directives
Moreover, Justice Midha highlighted that not only did the Bollywood actress not comply with the Section 80 of the CPC (civil procedure code), but she also broke several other directives under the CPC. Further, the Court also added that the charges Chawla filed were not verified. The Delhi HC bench observed that only a few paragraphs of the plaint were written as “true to their knowledge.”
“There is no personal knowledge of averments. Plaint based on legal advise not maintainable,”
-the court ruled.
Chawla’s lawyer claims fine imposed “without legal basis”
On the ruling, Chawla’s representative Advocate Deepak Khosla asked the court to stay the order. Advocate Khosla further added that the imposition of the Rs. 20 lakh fine was without “any legal basis”. To this Justice Midha said that, “Matter is over. You have your legal remedies”, and rejected the request.
Suit filed by Chawla ‘frivolous’: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta
Earlier this week, actress Juhi Chawla along with plaintiff Veeresh Malik and Teena Vachani filed a suit before the Delhi High Court and argued that 5G technology shouldn’t see a rollout till its ‘certified safe’. In her argument, Chawla had alleged that the fact that rollout of 5G “could be danger of imminent nature” is an established one and as per the received RTI response, no research has been done on the same.
The Centre, represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, argued that Chawla’s suit was not maintainable as it’s breaking the mandates of the Section 80 and Section 91 of the CPC. Further, Solicitor General Mehta also submitted how the suit filed by Chawla and other plaintiffs was “frivolous” and barred under CPC’s Section 9.
Juhi Chawla VS 5G: A Timeline So Far
May 31, 2021: Juhi Chawla files case against implementation of 5G in India. The actress approached the Delhi HC and submitted a plea which claimed that the radiation from 5G will lead to significant amount of RF exposure to the world’s population. Chawla claimed that the consequences of this on humans will be irreversible in nature. Delhi HC states that the hearing will take place on June 2.
June 2, 2021: The virtual hearing of Chawla VS 5G got interrupted by a disruptor who sang the songs of Chawla’s films. The Delhi HC issued contempt to court notice and asked the IT department to identify the culprits. The court also asked why Chawla didn’t approach the Centre first with its concerns and directly approached the HC.
June 4, 2021: Single bench of Justice J.R. Midha scrapped Chawla’s case and observed that she filed the case for publicity. The Court also imposed a Rs. 20 lakhs fine on Chawla.