Observing that it cannot be a “theatre for farcical play,” the Supreme Court today dismissed a petition, accusing Pranab Mukherjee of resorting to corruption in soliciting votes in the Presidential poll and warned an advocate of stringent action if he comes forward with similar pleas in future. A bench of justices Aftab Alam and H L Gokhale initially imposed cost of Rs 50,000 on the petitioner-cum-advocate Manohar Lal, but later waived it after the counsel pleaded for mercy.
The apex court warned the advocate that it would not show any sympathy if he comes out with such similar petitions in future. “You are trying to destroy the system. This time we are sparing you. if you continue to file such petitions, don’t expect any indulgence from us,” warned Justice Alam, who headed the bench. Sharma in his petition had said Pranab Mukherjee ought to be prosecuted under section 7 and section 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act as he had been soliciting votes from MLAs and MPs for his presidential election which Sharma claimed was illegal. According to the petitioner, Mukherjee being a public servant ought not to seek votes which he was doing even while holding the charge of finance ministry.
If a presidential candidate is seeking votes, what is wrong in it, the bench asked Sharma while dismissing the petition as “worthless”. A similar petition by Sharma against Mukherjee, was dismissed by the Delhi High Court on June 29.