Andhra Pradesh H.C : We should state at the threshold that this writ petition filed as a public interest litigation (PIL) admittedly by a relative of the eight persons against whom he wanted the CIT (Vigilance), IT Department, Hyderabad, to take action in accordance with the provisions of the IT Act, 1961, is totally unjustified and vexations apart from being totally vague.

High Court Of Andhra Pradesh

Vithaldas vs. Union Of India

Section Art. 226

S.R. Nayak & S. Ananda Reddy, JJ.

Writ Petn. No. 21506 of 2000

9th November, 2000

Counsel Appeared

Y.V. Kishore, for the Petitioner : J.V. Prasad, for the Respondent

JUDGMENT

S.R. NAYAK, J. :

We should state at the threshold that this writ petition filed as a public interest litigation (PIL) admittedly by a relative of the eight persons against whom he wanted the CIT (Vigilance), IT Department, Hyderabad, to take action in accordance with the provisions of the IT Act, 1961, is totally unjustified and vexations apart from being totally vague. The petitioner except stating in his representation dt. 5th Nov., 1999, addressed to the CIT that those eight persons named by him in the representation have accumulated huge wealth and money and they were also involved in private money-lending business, has not chosen to furnish any details whatsoever. It is held and reiterated by this Court and the apex Court that a pro bono public character who files public interest litigations has the responsibility of making necessary investigation in the first instance and to bring his findings to the notice of the concerned authorities before moving the constitutional Courts by way of public interest litigations. The very fact that the petitioner happens to be the relative of the eight persons against whom he wanted the enquiryindicates that the petitioner is not a pro bono public character but the writ petition is filed for extraneous consideration. This Court speaking through one of us (S.R. Nayak, J.) while dealing with unscrupulous and unjustified public interest litigation in Thakur Bahadur Singh vs. Government of Andhra Pradesh (1998) 5 ALT 567 (AP) had to observe in para 12 (p. 578) as under : “Time has come for the constitutional Courts not only to nip the unscrupulous and unjustified public interest litigations in the bud but also to make the movers of such public interest litigations accountable in concrete terms. Mere disapproval of such public interest litigations by Courts will not help the public justice in the long run.

The State spends huge sums of money out of the limited resources to provide, maintain and conduct apparatus of adjudicatory processes. If the Court finds that the adjudicatory process is abused or misused wantonly by a person under the garb of public interest litigation, it is but necessary to make him accountable for his litigative luxury, in order to subserve the public interest. Public interest will never be permitted to suffer in a public interest litigation. That can be achieved by imposing exemplary costs. One cannot have the pleasure of an unjustified public interest litigation at the cost of the public just paying Rs. 100 towards Court fee, a pittance when compared to the actual cost incurred by the State.” Public interest litigation is a legal technique, a noble responsible technique which could be resorted to only by a bona fide public character surcharged by only public interest and nothing else. Under the garb of public interest litigation no person can be permitted to abuse the process of law and waste the judicial time as pointed out in the above judgment. In the result and for foregoing reasons, we dismiss the writ petition with exemplary costs fixed at Rs. 5,000 (rupees five thousand only) payable to the Secretary, Andhra Pradesh State Legal Services Authority, Hyderabad, within a period of two weeks from today. The Secretary of the Andhra Pradesh State Legal Services Authority, Hyderabad, is directed to report compliance of the writ petitioner.

[Citation : 248 ITR 366]

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