‘Shocked’: Delhi HC gives Juhi Chawla a week more to deposit Rs 20 lakh fine – Times of India
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‘Shocked’: Delhi HC gives Juhi Chawla a week more to deposit Rs 20 lakh fine – Times of India

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday expressed shock at the conduct of Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla and two others, who are yet to deposit Rs 20 lakh cost imposed on them for their lawsuit challenging 5G wireless network technology.

Justice J.R. Midha said: “The court is shocked at the conduct of the plaintiffs.. not willing to gracefully deposit the cost.”

The court made this observation while hearing three applications moved by the actor seeking court fee refund, waiver of costs imposed and replacing the word “dismissed” in the judgment with “rejected”.

Chawla’s counsel, senior advocate Meet Malhotra, after withdrawing the application for waiver of costs, submitted that the cost would either be deposited in a week or ten days, or legal remedies against it would be taken. The court told the counsel that it took a lenient view while imposing Rs 20 lakh cost on the petitioners and did not initiate contempt proceedings.
“I was shocked… This court took a lenient view and did not issue contempt when case was made out… I was totally inclined,” Justice Midha said. Taking a strong view on the application, the court added that it certainly has power to issue contempt.

Chawla’s counsel clarified it was not meant that cost won’t be paid. “This is my instruction that nobody said that they wouldn’t. I saw what happened (in the judgment). I fully understand,” counsel added. Malhotra also withdrew the application for refund of court fee.

After hearing argument, the high court granted a week to Chawla and two others to deposit Rs 20 lakh in costs.

The court ordered the third application seeking rejection of plaint would be placed before Justice Sanjeev Narula after court fee is deposited and scheduled the matter for further hearing on July 12.

The high court in June had dismissed the lawsuit by Chawla and other others against the setting up of 5G wireless networks in the country citing health hazards due to the technology. The court had slapped a cost of Rs 20 lakh on the petitioners. Justice Midha had described the plea as “defective”, “abuse of process of law” and filed for “gaining publicity”.

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