Swami Om who made a lot of headlines during his stay in the Bigg Boss house was fined Rs 10 lakh on Thursday for filing a petition which the Chief Justice of India said smacked of a popularity stunt. According to a report by The Indian Express, there was laughter in the court when Swami Om Baba replied to the bench questions. His plea was heard by CJI J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud hours after they had dealt with a serious issue like Right to Privacy.
Swami Om who claimed to have 50 crore followers globally had filed a petition about the selection of the CJI. When the judges asked him why he didn’t raise the question earlier, Swami Om replied that he had been petitioning the President and Vice-President for over a year. “I have been agitating the matter since your appointment,” Om Baba told the CJI in Hindi, causing an eruption of laughter. CJI Khehar who was left amused by this statement was quoted as saying by The Indian Express, “We feel this is a popularity stunt.”
Swami Om, however, was in no mood to give up. He retaliated by saying, “By the grace of God, I don’t need popularity. I have 50 crore followers all over the world.” Least did he know that this remark will come back to haunt him. Explaining his point, Om Baba said that under Article 124(2) of the Constitution, the President of India was not required to consult the sitting CJI for the appointment of the next one.
CJI Khehar was in no mood to spare Swami Om and replied by saying that you cannot take the Supreme Court lightly. The court dismissed the plea and imposed a cost of Rs 10 lakh each on Baba and the co-petitioner Mukesh Jain. Baba said: “I don’t have even Rs 10, let alone Rs 10 lakh.” The CJI replied: “You have 50 crore followers. You can get Re 1 from each.”