Litigants and counsel cannot, as a publicity stunt, issue press statements about a petition even before cognizance of the case 

High Court of Madhya Pradesh: While hearing a PIL filed by the petitioner for the purpose of transferring the investigation of criminal case (Rs. 500-crore Hawala racket scam) from the police authorities to the Central Bureau of Investigation,  the Bench comprising Rajendra Menon, CJ., and H.P. Singh, J., dismissing the PIL held that since a single document is not available on record based on which the prayer for transfer of the case from the police authorities to Central Bureau of Investigation can be accepted hence, it is a case where we find that the petitions have been filed only to create a commotion, gain public attention and somehow to become popular in the area where the petitioners are residing.

The Court also issued directions to the Madhya Pradesh Bar Council to take note of such happenings and take remedial steps to prevent the advocates from that such kind of publicity stunts by releasing copies of the writ petition to the press even before notices were issued or cognizance of the same is taken by the High Court or other Courts within the State as the petitioners in this case after filing of the writ petition issued a detailed press statement with regard to this case and even before issuance of notice by this Court it was tried to be pointed out that such and such racket has occurred in the District in question and a PIL has been filed even before cognizance was taken by this Court. The Court chiding the petitioners observed that it is a case where the petitioners have misused the process of law with malafide intention by filing a petition only on the basis of the press statements and certain publications made in the newspapers. [Kanhaiya Tiwari v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2017 SCC OnLine MP 84, decided on 19th January 2017]



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