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Juhi Chawla 5G case: Delhi HC reduces costs to Rs 2 lakh

The Delhi High Court Thursday expunged remarks made by its judge against actress Juhi Chawla that she had filed the lawsuit challenging setting up of 5G wireless networks in the country on account of health hazards, for gaining publicity.

Additionally, a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh also reduced the costs imposed on Chawla from ₹20 Lakh to ₹2 lakh, saying that she did not take up the 5G issue in a “frivolous and casual manner.”

The division bench allowed Chawla’s appeal and set aside the single judge’s June 4, 2021 order by which Chawla and two others’ suit was dismissed with the observations that it was “defective”, “abuse of process of law” and filed for “gaining publicity.”

The actress, who was present in the virtual hearing, volunteered to work with the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) and feature in the programmes for empowering the marginalised section of the society.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, the Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh had said “what we propose is that we can’t waive off the costs but we can reduce it to ₹2 lakh. But we have a condition. Since your client is a celebrity, we would want her to do some good for society.” The bench also said that a programme may be conducted wherein the DSLSA can get in touch with Juhi Chawla. The Court added that the said programme may be conducted by featuring her and promoting the cause.

Later, Senior Advocate Salman Khurshid, after taking instructions informed the bench that Juhi Chawla would be honoured to participate and help DSLSA for such a good cause.

In the appeal, Juhi Chawla and the other two appellants stated that the single bench order dismissing the suit is bad in law as a suit can only be dismissed once it has been allowed to be registered as a suit by the Court. The actor further stated that the single bench imposed costs on her even after plaint had not been permitted by him to make sure into a ‘suit’, and acting without jurisdiction, contrary to the law.

The appellant also challenged the single judge’s finding that the motion was preferred only to gain publicity, whose motive was inferred by the learned single judge merely from the fact that Plaintiff had circulated the video-conferencing link of the High Court on her social media accounts which had resulted in the repeated disruption of the Court proceedings held on June 4, 2021.

The court in its order had said, “it appears that the suit was for publicity. Plaintiff Juhi Chawla circulated the link of the hearing on social media which created the disruption thrice. Delhi Police shall identify the persons and take action against those who created disruption.” Livemint

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