Calling it a publicity stunt, the Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed a plea filed by actor Juhi Chawla against the 5G roll-out in India. Chawla "abused and misused process of law", the high court added imposing costs amounting to Rs 20 lakhs.
The suit was "defective and not maintainable", the high court further observed. "Vexatious allegations were made," Justice GR Midha noted in the order.
Chawla along with Veeresh Malik and Teena Vachani submitted that 5G technology should not be permitted unless and until it has been "certified safe".
"It appears plaintiffs have filed this suit for publicity, which is clear by the plaintiff 1 (Chawla) sharing links of the hearing on her social media, which lead to multiple disruptions in the hearing," Justice Midha observed. A day before the scheduled hearing on June 2, Chawla had posted the high court link on her Twitter bio and on Instagram inviting people to join the virtual hearing.
The high court has issued a show-cause notice of contempt against an anonymous man who gate-crashed the virtual hearing and interrupted proceedings by singing songs to Chawla from her movies.
The costs imposed will be deposited with the Delhi Legal Service Authority (DLSA), which will be used for the cause of victims of road accidents.
The high court also rejected advocate Deepak Khosla's oral request to stay the costs imposed. Justice Midha told Khosla that the matter was already over and that as a counsel he "should know his limits".
During arguments on June 2, the court had observed that the suit was defective. The petitioners should have first approached the government with their concerns. IF the government had denied their rights, then they could have come to court. The high court also questioned the petitioners as to why 33 parties were added to the petition, which is also not permitted by law.