Lawyer blames ‘technical glitch’ for PIL rejection, Delhi High Court says ‘strange allegation VC facility misused’

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday expressed displeasure with a lawyer, who took a ‘somersault’ in public interest litigation (PIL) when he blamed a ‘technical glitch’ on a previously registered submission according to which he wished to withdraw the case.

The petition against the Delhi government’s decision to disaffiliate the college from Delhi University and merge it with Ambedkar University, was dismissed as withdrawn on September 19 after the lawyer, who later appeared by the intermediary of the VC, said he wanted to withdraw the case.

The plea was therefore “dismissed as withdrawn” by the bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad. Prior to the case being withdrawn, the court was reluctant to issue a plea opinion.

The bench had therefore passed in the order:

“At the outset, the Petitioner, appearing in person, by videoconference, prays for the withdrawal of the Instant PIL. Leave, as requested, is granted.”

However, the lawyer this week filed a request for recall of the order dated September 19, saying his request to withdraw from the PIL had been registered due to a technical problem. So he prayed for the plea to be reinstated.

During today’s hearing, the bench noted that neither the claimant wanted admission to, nor was connected with, the college in question, either as a student or as a teacher. .

Observing further that the petitioner “takes a somersault” from his previous position, the tribunal observed:

“It is truly unfortunate that the VC facility extended to members of the bar is being misused as evidenced by the application filed by the petitioner making a vague and outlandish allegation. When appearing via VC, the petitioner had made a categorical statement that was reduced to writing in the order. We find no reason to revoke the order previously made. The application is dismissed.

As the bench refused to grant the petitioner freedom to file a new plea, Chief Justice Sharma said orally to the lawyer: “People have been waiting for 15 years…..how is it the public interest? If you want to do public good…help those sitting in front of AIIMS, give them food, give them medicine, do a good job, not that.”

The PIL claimed that the petitioner was informed by the students that they were being denied admission to the College of Arts for the 2021-2022 academic session.

While the merger is underway, the PIL said there is concern that already enrolled students and faculty of the College of Arts will not enjoy equal and similar benefits at Dr BRAmbedkar University Delhi.

“Because the proposed merger is nothing but to satisfy the mediocre ego and the false statement of the Chief Minister of Delhi that they will create new universities/institutions under the guise of this, they are just renaming or merge institutes like College of Art,” the plea pleaded. .

Title: Rahul Thakur c. Lieutenant Governor, GNCTD & Ors.

Jon J. Epps