The Supreme Court Reprimands a Law Student For Filing a Frivolous Petition: ‘This Is Not A Moot Court Competition’

The Supreme Court dismissed a Writ Petition submitted by a final-year law student on Friday, reprimanding the petitioner for approaching the Court without fully comprehending the scope of Article 32 of the Indian Constitution.

A bench consisting of Justices L. Nageshwara Rao and B.R. Gavai expressed its displeasure with the Petitioner-in-Writ person’s petition alleging a violation of the citizen’s right to vote.

The Court inquired about the scope of Article 32 and the basic right infringement for which the Petitioner was seeking redress before proceeding with the arguments.

“What is the scope of Article 32?” the Bench asked the Petitioner after he informed the Court that he is a final-year law student.

“Art. 32 is for WP and the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, your lordship,” the Petitioner replied.

The Petitioner was instructed to read Article 32 of the Constitution to the Court.

“Pardon your lordships, I don’t have the Constitution with me now?” the Petitioner meekly replied.

“Who recommended you to submit this Writ Petition?” the Bench inquired.

The Petitioner told the Court that he performed study before filing the Writ Petition, and that no one had instructed him to do so.

“What research have you done if you don’t know the extent of 32?” asked the Bench.

“What is the Fundamental right that has been violated?” it continued.

The Petitioner stated that the Writ is about violations of fundamental rights of ordinary persons, particularly voters.

“What is the fundamental right of the residents of the country that has been violated?” the Bench inquired.

“Right to vote,” the Petitioner replied.

The Bench expressed its dissatisfaction with the remark “You claim that the freedom to vote is a basic right? Where do you look for it?”

The Petitioner, in an attempt to argue on a different line, submitted –

“Apart from that, the PIL guidelines of the Supreme Court from 2010 state that if there is a breach involving the electoral commission as well, the PIL is maintainable.”

The Bench refused to go beyond the confines of Article 32’s inquiry at that time, stating: “You indicated that citizens’ rights are being abused. You stated that the right to vote is a basic right. Where did you come across that?”

The Court asked the Petitioner a question, clarifying that an Article 32 petition can only be considered if a basic right has been violated.

“Why should we accept this petition if there is no infringement of fundamental rights?”

The Petitioner answered by explaining the scope of PIL and mandamus: “This petition was originally intended to be a PIL and for mandamus. The Supreme Court has the power to issue instructions to government bodies, and Respondents No. 1 and 2 are government bodies, thus.”

The Bench reprimanded the Petitioner for bringing a Writ petition under Article 32 that did not actually relate to a basic right violation, saying –

“Keep in mind that this is not a Moot court competition. You’ve filed a writ petition before India’s Supreme Court. We would have charged a hefty fee for this type of writ petition if you weren’t a student. Please focus on your academics, pass law school, and then work as a good lawyer. You only want to submit a Writ Petition because you don’t want your name to appear in the newspapers? This should not be done. Dismissed.”

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