Lisa Coutinho | Pravin Gandhi College of Law | 25th March 2020
Jyotish G. V. State of Kerala & Ors. Writ Petition (C) No. 9115 of 2020
Facts of the case:
The petitioner, a consumer of potable alcohol, filed a writ petition in the Kerala High Court seeking a direction to the Beverages Corporation to make potable liquor for delivery to consumers in the state through online platforms. He states that the outbreak of COVID 19 has rendered it unsafe for him to visit an outlet for procuring alcohol for consumption, since the outlets are inevitably crowded during business hours.
The Court said that the citizenry ought to realize that the restrictions imposed by this Court on the filing of cases is with a view to ensuring that their fundamental rights as citizens, for access to justice, is guaranteed to the extent possible, even at the cost of exposing the Judges, lawyers, clerks and staff of this Court, to the risk of viral infection. When measures such as these are adopted in public interest, the very least that is expected from the litigating public is a sensitivity to the interests of their fellow citizens in Society, who like them have a fundamental right to a safe place of work and a healthy environment. The Court stated that the petition manifests the total insensitivity and selfishness of the litigant, who through his frivolous petition has managed to make a mockery of the salutary concept of access to justice, which this noble institution strives to guarantee. The Court stated that such kind of reckless, insensitive and insolvent action of the petitioner cannot be let away lightly.
While dismissing the frivolous petition, the High Court imposed exemplary costs of Rs. 50,000/- on the petitioner, which amount he shall pay to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund, within two weeks from the date of order, and produce such receipt of payment before the Register General of High Court, failing which the said amount shall together with interest thereon, be recovered from him through revenue recovery proceedings.