Penalty imposed by SC for Publicity Interest Litigation
In the first case of its kind in the history of Nepal’s judiciary, the Supreme Court has fined a lawyer with Rs 5 on the charge of bringing what it called a “frivolous and publicity-oriented” public interest litigation (PIL) before it.The court said the decision to slap the fine on advocate Dhananjaya Khanal was taken on Wednesday to discourage those lawyers who bring PILs before it just for the sake of publicity. It further said that such litigations were wasting the court’s valuable time.
“If we go on entertaining such type of frivolous and publicity-oriented writ petitions, the real litigants waiting for justice will suffer,” Justices Bal Ram KC and Gauri Dhakal said in a verdict slapping the fine.
“PILs are meant for public interest, not for publicity,” they said.
Advocate Khanal had moved the court with a PIL seeking a court order on the government to give him all documents and treaties pertaining to bilateral relations between Nepal and India.
According to the court, Khanal did not specify what exactly he wanted when he sought such documents and treaties from the concerned government agencies.
Though fines on litigants who bring frivolous petitions before courts is very common in India and other countries, it is the first time the court has fined a writ petitioner in Nepal on the charge, a Supreme Court judge said.
Co-spokesperson of the court Hemanta Rawal said the court has noticed in recent times an increasing trend of lawyers bringing frivolous writ petitions just for publicity.
“The court has been spending its time and resources on such writ petitions to date. But now, the bench has attempted to discourage such petitions,” Rawal said.
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