HC imposes Rs 5K fine on petitioners over ‘frivolous’ PIL
After going through the record, the bench observed that the gochar land is being used for public benefit by establishing a mega water supply project.
CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court has imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on petitioners Chaturbhuja Garnaik and five others of Bauligarh in Angul district, who had filed a PIL seeking intervention against construction of a water supply project on gochar (grazing) land in their area. Taking stern note of the petition, Acting Chief Justice BR Sarangi and Justice MS Raman held that the PIL had been filed for private interest in the guise of public interest litigation.
“Therefore, while dismissing the writ petition, this court imposes cost of Rs 50,000 on the writ petitioners for filing such type of frivolous petition by wasting the valuable time of the court,” the bench ordered, adding, “Such cost shall be deposited in the Advocates’ Welfare Fund of Orissa High Court Bar Association within a period of seven days, failing which the opposite parties - state authorities shall recover the same from the petitioners by initiating a proceeding under the Odisha Public Demands Recovery Act, 1962. Additional government advocate JP Patnaik had questioned the maintainability of the petition. After going through the record, the bench observed that the gochar land is being used for public benefit by establishing a mega water supply project.
“Further, the land in question is not being used for the purpose of construction of house plots or other purposes, rather the mega water supply project is going to be utilised for the benefit of the community at large and the general public,” it ruled. “The petitioners have not made out a case in their favour. Many frivolous public interest litigations have been filed on different considerations,” the bench further observed.