Wednesday, January 27, 2010

HC ire on frivolous PILs: NGO fined Rs 40 lakh

MUMBAI: Taking a strict view of frivolous petitions that flood the courts, the Bombay high court, in an unprecedented move, has ordered a city-based organisation, the Bhrastachar Nirmoolan Sanghatana , to pay Rs 40 lakh as legal costs after dismissing its public interest litigations against a super-luxury tower on Peddar Road. Terming it as an abuse of the process of law , a division bench of acting Chief Justice J N Patel and Justice B R Gavai said that the tendency to file PIL on flimsy grounds needed to be curbed.

The court remarked that it had become a practice to obtain information under the Right To Information Act. A flood of such RTI-based PILs, many with sketchy details, had been filed, added the court. The petitioners who drag people to court themselves do not have anything to lose, said the HC, adding that it caused harm not only to the finances of the respondents but also to their reputation.

The judges gave the organisation four weeks to pay Rs 10 lakh each to the opposite parties: the BMC, Ispat Industries (owner of the Pedder Road land) and builders Peddar Realty Developers and Sameer Bhojwani. And, if the amount was not paid within the stipulated time, the court asked the collector to initiate proceedings against the trustees of the NGO to recover the money, including seizing their properties.

The tower, coming up on Pedder Road, has 18 duplex flats of around 6,000 square feet each, with the premium price tag reportedly starting at Rs 75,000 per square foot.


  1. Why do not publish the conversation in those videos in html format (words) so that we can get the entire conversation accurately in the said expose of PIL