The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a PIL filed by a social worker’ seeking ban on sale and use of Coca Cola and Thums up on the ground that these soft beverages are detrimental to health, saying the petition has been filed for extraneous reasons.
The top court rejected the petition and imposed an exemplary cost of Rs five lakh on the petitioner and said his counsel has failed to disclose “why two specific brands in particular are chosen to be the target of the proceedings and what the source of his assertions.”
It said the amount would be deposited within one month with the apex court registry and disbursed to SCAORA (Supreme Court Advocates-on Record Association).
A bench headed by Justices D Y Chandrachud said that petitioner, Umedsinh P Chavda, through his petition has invoked jurisdiction of the court under Article 32 of the Constitution, which appears to be abuse of the process of law.
The petitioner claims to be a ‘social worker’. The affidavit in support of the petition states that the contents of the petition are true to the knowledge and belief of the petitioner. The petition has been filed without the petitioner having any technical knowledge on the subject. The source of his assertions has not been substantiated, the bench, also comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi, said.
The top court said that after hearing the counsel for petitioner, it has come to the conclusion that invocation of the jurisdiction under Article 32 is not a bona fide recourse to the jurisdiction in public interest litigation.
Consequently, besides dismissing the petition an order directing the imposition of exemplary costs is necessary. We accordingly dismiss the petition and impose costs quantified at Rs 500,000 on the petitioner. The costs imposed shall be deposited in the Registry within one month and shall be disbursed to the Supreme Court Advocates-on Record Association (SCAORA), the bench said.
Besides seeking ban on sale and use of Coco Cola and Thums Up, the PIL filed by Chavda also sought issuing of notification by government apprising people at large not to drink and use it, as the same is detrimental to the cause of health.
The PIL also sought direction to Centre to submit a complete analytical report and scientific approval by scientist in providing license of sale and use of liquid like Coco Cola and Thums Up.