Kerala High Court on Friday rejected the petition seeking court directives for the State Beverages Corporation to allow online delivery of liquor for consumers and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the man who had filed the petition. The petition has come at a time when the entire country grapples with the Coronavirus threat as the number of positive cases has surged over 250.
Condemning the insensitive action of the petitioner, Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar said, "It is distressing to note that notwithstanding the clear instructions given with a view to attaining the objectives of the Health Department, writ petitions have been indiscriminately filed before this court."
"The citizenry ought to realise that the restrictions imposed by this court on filing of cases is with a view to ensuring that their fundamental rights as citizens, for access to justice, is guaranteed to the extent possible, even at the cost of exposing the judges, lawyers, clerks and staff of this court to the risk of viral infection," the court said.
The court observed that the blatant act of selfishness of the petitioner and others like him in society makes it evident that their obsession of perceived rights blinds them to the obligatory duty that they owe towards others. The court further stated that a frivolous petition at a time like this is a mockery of the salutary concept of access to justice, further stating that the reckless, insensitive and insolent action of the petitioner cannot be let off lightly.
The counsel of the petitioner requested the court to allow the petitioner to withdraw his petition but the court refused to lift off the fine of Rs 50,000.
"Although counsel for the petitioner prays for permission to withdraw the writ petition, but merely because of he has chosen to withdraw the writ petition, after having filed it and submitted it to the processing that is required before it reaches the Bench, the petitioner cannot be exempted from the costs that must inevitably be imposed on him for his conduct", it said.
"Accordingly, while dismissing the writ petition with the contempt that it deserves. It is appropriate to impose exemplary costs of Rs 50,000 on the petitioner, which amount he shall pay to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund, within two weeks from Friday, and produce a receipt of such payment before the Registrar General of this court, failing which, the amount, together with interest thereon, shall be recovered from him through revenue recovery proceedings", the court said in its order.
(With PTI inputs)