New Delhi, Sept. 22: A lawyer who had been fined Rs 1 lakh by Delhi High Court earlier for filing a PIL against the Prime Minister "for cheap publicity" today got up on a table, took off his shirt and raised slogans as Manmohan Singh took the dais to address a conference on economic growth at Vigyan Bhavan.
"Prime Minister, go back. Roll back diesel prices," Santosh Kumar Suman, 33, screamed, prompting SPG officers to whisk him out of the hall.
Singh waited a while before addressing the conference. Afterwards, he asked the SPG not to harass the protester.
Suman, who is registered with the Supreme Court Bar Association, was let off in the evening after questioning at Tughlaq Road police station.
Singh did not attribute any political motive to Suman's protest, unlike Mamata Banerjee who last month dubbed a farmer who questioned her at a Belpahari rally a Maoist.
Suman had filed a PIL in Delhi High Court in August last year seeking to prosecute Singh in the cash-for-votes scam that erupted after a trust vote in 2008. The PIL was dismissed, as having been "filed with malafide intention with a view to gain cheap publicity". Suman was slapped a penalty of Rs 1 lakh, which was to be forwarded to the Prime Minister's relief fund.
A senior police officer said Suman was a resident of east Delhi but hailed from Bihar.
"He claimed to be a member of the legal cell of RJD's Delhi unit. He is a practising lawyer in the Supreme Court and entered Vigyan Bhavan with a valid invitation card," the officer said. But senior RJD officials disowned Suman, saying the legal cell was disbanded long ago.