SC show cause notice to NGO chairperson for failing to appear before it

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New Delhi, Apr 5 (PTI) The Supreme Court Monday issued contempt notice to the chairperson of an NGO for violating its directions and deprecated his conduct for trying to “wriggle out of the proceedings by raising all kinds of objections”.

The apex court had earlier issued bailable warrants against Rajiv Daiya of NGO Suraz India Trust for not depositing the cost of Rs 25 lakh imposed on it for filing 64 PILs over the years without any success and 'repeatedly misusing' the jurisdiction of the top court.

A bench comprising Justices S K Kaul and Hemant Gupta said the fact that the chairperson of the NGO has been given vaccination for COVID-19 on March 26 is no excuse not to appear today before the Court after more than a week.

“Mr. Daiya has also not complied with the order and seeks to wriggle out of the proceedings by raising all kinds of objections i.e. that this matter should not been heard by this Bench but by the Chief Justice's Bench. This is not a prerogative of Mr. Daiya.

“Prima facie, Mr. Daiya seems to be bent upon violating the directions of this Court and thus, we have no option but to issue notice of contempt to Mr. Rajiv Daiya returnable on April 12, 2021 Mr. Rajiv Daiya, who appears in person, accepts notice,” the bench said.

Daiya shall appear in person and shall also disclose which is the Government job he claims to have as 'we propose to issue notice to the concerned government', it said.

“At this stage, Mr. Daiya states that when he mentioned the Government job he was referring to the fact that he was a stenographer in a legal office but deployed with the State of Rajasthan.

“Let notice issue to the standing counsel for the State of Rajasthan so that we can verify the fact in view of the non-cooperative attitude of Mr. Daiya,” the bench said.

The top court on December 5, 2017, refused to modify its earlier order against NGO Suraz India Trust for filing 64 PILs.

It had dismissed the plea filed by the NGO to modify the apex court''s May 1, 2017 order which also barred the organisation from filing any plea before any court across the country.

Since the costs were not deposited with the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Welfare Trust, the matter was put up again before the apex court and notice was issued on September 29, last year.

The top court had issued direction to the NGO to disclose the movable and immovable assets of the petitioner which was not complied with.

Later, a request was made by the chairperson of the petitioner-Trust for providing note sheets on the basis with which the directions have been sought by the Registry in the present application.

The apex court had on May 1, 2017 taken the punitive step and imposed a hefty cost on the NGO saying waste of judicial time was a matter of serious concern.

The top court had also said such practises have to be dealt with sternly to prevent misuse of the courts by such individuals 'who have nothing to do but only cast scandalous and imaginary aspersions'.

On 64 occasions when the Suraz India Trust had approached the court, it did not get any success, the court had noted.

Referring to the details of the matters filed by the NGO and the various orders passed by the apex court, the bench headed by the then Chief Justice J S Khehar had said it 'leaves no doubt that Suraz India Trust has repeatedly misused the jurisdiction of this court'.

The apex court had on April 24, 2017, rapped the NGO and its chief for wasting judicial time.

It had issued notice to the NGO for filing 64 petitions over the years under the garb of public interest litigation and Daiya to show cause why he should be allowed to continue filing cases.

The top court had handed over to him a compilation of the 64 pleas filed by him in the nature of writ petitions and review petitions and asked him to respond to the notice. PTI PKS SJK RKS RKS