"The credibility of the Supreme Court of India is skyhigh. It cannot be eroded or impinged by the statements of individuals," the Bombay High Court said, while rejecting a plea for action against Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar and Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju for their statements against the Collegium system for appointment of judges and the Basic Structure of the Constitution.
A bench of acting Chief Justice S V Gangapurvala and Justice Sandeep V Marne dismissed the PIL filed by Bombay Lawyers Association seeking a direction to restrain Dhankar and Rijiju from discharging their duties as the constitutional functionaries due to their recent utterances.
"The constitutional authorities cannot be removed in the manner as suggested by the Petitioner. Fair criticism of the judgment is permissible. It is no doubt, fundamental duty of every citizen to abide by the Constitution. Majesty of law has to be respected," the bench said.
The court also noted both Dhankar and Rijiju had said that the government has never undermined the authority of the judiciary and its independence will always remain untouched and promoted and they respect the ideals of the Constitution.
"Considering the totality of the factual matrix, we do not find it a fit case to invoke our writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India in entertaining the PIL," the bench said.
By its PIL, the petitioner sought disqualification of both Dhankar and Rijiju from holding constitutional post on the ground that their utterances have shaken the public faith in the Supreme Court of India and the Constitution.
"Juridically, the expression “Public Interest Litigation” means alegal action initiated in a Court of Law for the enforcement of public interest. The PIL is a power given to the public by the Courts through judicial activism. It is a litigation filed in the Court of law for protection of public interest," the bench said.
"The PIL can be used for redressal of a genuine public wrong or public injury and it cannot be publicity oriented. The parameters of PIL have been indicated by the apex court in catena of judgments," the bench added.