Delhi High Court Dismisses PIL Seeking Action Against Politicians for Alleged False Statements

Delhi High Court rejects PIL against Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, Akhilesh Yadav for alleged false statements, citing voter wisdom and lack of locus standi.

The Delhi High Court recently dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Surjit Singh Yadav, a self-proclaimed social worker, seeking action against politicians Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, and Akhilesh Yadav for allegedly making misleading and false statements intended to tarnish India's image and credibility. The PIL also sought direction on political parties Indian National Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, and Samajwadi Party, as well as media platforms News 24, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube, to remove the allegedly false and misleading statements from their platforms.

Yadav was aggrieved by the politicians' alleged false statements regarding the waving off of loans by the Central Government worth Rs. 15 or 16 lakh crores for a few industrialists. However, the division bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora closed the PIL, stating that the industrialists and individuals allegedly defamed have the means to approach the court themselves. The court remarked that the principle of relaxation of locus standi was not applicable in this case and emphasized the wisdom of Indian voters, stating, "Don't underestimate the wisdom of voters. If people or industrialists are aggrieved, they will take action."

During the hearing, Acting Chief Justice Manmohan reiterated that the court should not interfere in matters where aggrieved parties can seek redressal themselves. He emphasized, "Someone misleads, someone leads. Let the people take the call. Don't get us involved in this." The court emphasized that relaxing the principle of locus standi to entertain the PIL was unnecessary.

Yadav's plea argued that the allegedly false statements were published to create confusion among readers or viewers, thereby downgrading the image of the Central Government. The plea highlighted the distinction between loan waiver and write-off and claimed that the misleading statements had created confusion about the government's sincerity and honesty in handling fiscal matters, negatively impacting its image in the eyes of the public.

The plea further contended that the deliberate attempt to create a negative image of the Central Government had resulted in tarnishing the nation's image. It warned of negative repercussions such as foreign investment being affected, tourism getting hampered, and the promotion of anarchy in the nation.

In conclusion, the Delhi High Court's dismissal of the PIL underscores the judiciary's stance on political matters and emphasizes the importance of aggrieved parties pursuing legal recourse rather than relying solely on PILs. The ruling highlights the need for accountability in political discourse and the media's responsibility in disseminating accurate information.