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Delhi High Court rejects challenge to appointment of CJI DY Chandrachud

The High Court of Delhi on Monday dismissed a petition seeking review of its previous order, which had rejected the public interest litigation challenging the appointment of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud as the 50th Chief Justice of India with Rs one lakh cost.

The Division Bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva and Justice Vikas Mahajan observed that there were no grounds to interfere with the impugned order passed on November 30, 2022 as the petitioner was not able to show any error apparent on the face of record.

The High Court further noted that the PIL, an appeal ‘disguised’ as review plea to seek a ‘re-hearing’ of the petition, did not fall within the four corners of review.

The PIL had sought an immediate stay on the appointment of the 50th CJI, contending that the appointment was made in violation of the provisions of the Constitution. 

Appearing in person, petitioner Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari contended in Hindi that his plea was dismissed with cost without hearing him in detail, adding that he was not even provided with a copy of the order in Hindi language.

In November last year, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad had dismissed a public interest litigation challenging the appointment of CJI Chandrachud, observing that the offices held by constitutional functionaries in public trust were not open to denigration by self-styled warriors of public interest on the basis of superficial allegations, having no basis in law or fact.

Calling the PIL as a publicity-oriented litigation, the High Court imposed a cost of Rs one lakh on the petitioner for filing the instant writ petition without submitting any material to support the allegations. 

The petition was filed by one Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari, alleging that the appointment of the CJI was made in violation of various constitutional provisions. He sought for a stay on his appointment with immediate effect, in addition to an inquiry by the security agencies to find out if he has any kind of relation with ‘anti-nationals’ and ‘Naxalite Christian terrorists’.

The petition further sought striking out of Order VIII Rule 2 of the Supreme Court Rules, which mandated the use of English for the purpose of any proceeding before the Supreme Court, on the ground that it did not permit petitions to be filed in Hindi; along with strict disciplinary action against the Secretary General of the Supreme Court and other authorities alleged to have been harassing the litigants by violating the Official Languages Act, 1963.

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