On 3rd December 2021 the Supreme Court while dismissing a Writ Petition reprimanded a final year Law school student for filing the petition without understanding the scope of Article 32 of the Constitution of India.
The petitioner had filed the petition regarding the violation of the citizen’s right to vote. Before beginning of the arguments the Court asked about the scope of the Article 32 of the Constitution and the relief which the petitioner was seeking through the petition.
ENQUIRY MADE BY THE COURT
The Court after being apprised that the petitioner was a final year Law student asked him about the scope of Article of 32, to which the petitioner responded that Article 32 is for Writ Petition and the “original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court”.
SCOPE OF ARTICLE 32
The Bench consisting of Justices L. Nageshwara Rao and B.R. Gavai asked the petitioner to read the Article from the Constitution, to which the petitioner responded that he did not have the Constitution upon him and therefore, could not do the same.
Furthermore, on the question from the bench that who had advised him for filing the petition, he confessed that he had conducted research and thereafter filed the writ petition.
RATIONALE FOR FILING THE PETITION
The petitioner on the enquiry of the Bench that which fundamental right had been violated held that the Writ addresses the violation of fundamental rights of the general citizens who are the voters.
The follow-up question of the Court was that what is the fundamental right of the citizens which has been violated and the response by the petitioner to this was that the “Right to Vote” has been violated, to which the Supreme Court questioned if this right was fundamental in nature.
In order to argue on a different line, the petitioner held that -
“Apart from that even in PIL guidelines of 2010 of SC it is mentioned that if there is any violation with respect to the election commission as well, the PIL is eligible to be maintainable."
RATIONALE OF THE COURT
The Court questioned the petitioner that “You said the rights of citizens are violated. You said Right to vote is a fundamental right. Where do you find that?"
Furthermore, clarifying to the petitioner that Article 32 can only be entertained if there is a fundamental right violation the Court posed another question to the petitioner - “If there is no violation of fundamental rights, then why should we entertain this petition?"
In response to this question, the petitioner tried to explain the scope of Public Interest Litigation and Mandamus, stating that -
"Originally this petition was made to be PIL and for mandamus. Mandamus covers directions, where the Supreme Court has the power to direct Government bodies and Respondents No. 1 and 2 are government bodies, so."
The Court while admonishing the petitioner for filing the Writ Petition under Article 32 which does not pertain to the fundamental rights of citizens stated that -
“You should remember, this is not a Moot court competition. You have filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court of India. You are a student, otherwise, we would have imposed a huge cost for this kind of writ petition. Please concentrate on your studies, pass law and then become a good lawyer. You just want to file Writ Petition because your name would come in newspapers? Don't do this. Dismissed."