January 16 witnessed an interesting case in the Supreme Court and showed how the apex court could make a persistent man with a frivolous cause feel at ease and yet disciplined at the same time.
The Chief Justice of India, JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud were hearing a petition—actually, yet another petition—by Bal Ram Bali. His petition sought a ban on cow slaughter throughout India.
His earlier petitions had been dismissed forthright by the court. The interesting order made it clear: “He does not dispute the factual position that this is his tenth Petition and earlier nine petitions were dismissed by this court. Whereas his case was heard and order was passed in CA. No. 4738 of 2006 itself.
“This petition deserves to be dismissed with exemplary cost. But we observed he is an innocent individual who is pursuing the beliefs close to his heart, so we are not imposing any cost. But we restrain the petitioner from filing any further petition on the same cause.”
The court, obviously not sure whether the petitioner will still refrain from filing yet another petition, added a financial clause with further petitions.
The court observed: “If he wishes to file (another PIL) it should be accompanied with a demand draft of Rs 25000. If the petition is dismissed, the draft will be encashed to Supreme Court legal authority.
“This Petition is dismissed.”
That, normally, would have been the end of it. But the petitioner proved that his persistence had no limits. He protested: “Order galath likwadiya aapne, woh to sahi kar do (you have written a wrong order. At least correct that).”
This failed to go down well with the bench and the court immediately raised the demand draft amount to Rs 50,000, putting Bal Ram Bali in his place.
—India Legal Bureau