10 June 2024


High Court of Chhattisgarh

Abhishek Pandey Vs. State of Chhattisgarh and Ors.




Rules are constitutionally valid as framed with an object to curb filing of frivolous public interest litigations or petitions with oblique motive at initial stage itself

The Petitioner, who is a practising Advocate of present Court has filed present writ petition under the head of 'Public Interest Litigation'. The case of the Petitioner is that, public interest litigations are being filed by way of letter petitions and also by filing a writ petition, but for filing of a writ petition in the nature of public interest litigation, there is a requirement under Rule 81 of the High Court of Chhattisgarh Rules, 2007 ('Rules of 2007',) for depositing an amount of Rs. 5,000 towards security at the time of filing of the writ petition. Making it mandatory for the Petitioner filing public interest litigation for deposit of Rs. 5,000 is arbitrary because many of the public interest litigations could not see the doors of the Court only on account of heavy burden of security deposit of an amount of Rs. 5,000 as precondition for filing of the public interest litigation.

According to verdicts of Hon'ble Supreme Court, it is apparent that the attractive brand name of public interest litigation should not be used for suspicious products of mischief. It should be aimed at redressal of genuine public wrong or public injury and not publicity oriented or founded on personal vendetta. The Court must not allow its process to be abused for oblique considerations by masked phantoms who monitor at time from behind. Some persons with vested interest indulge in the pastime of meddling with judicial process either by force of habit or for as well as to enrich themselves. Often, they are actuated by a desire to win notoriety or cheap popularity. Now a days, many of the Petitioners filed public interest litigations pending to note pro bono publico, though they have no interest of the public or even of their own to protect. As held by Hon'ble Supreme Court that, frivolous petitions are to be filtered out and heavy cost to be imposed on such kind of public interest litigations.

Rule 81 of the Rules of 2007 has inbuilt mechanism for seeking an exemption of depositing security amount of Rs. 5,000 by filing an appropriate application along with the Writ Petition (PIL). It is not that the genuine public interest litigation cannot be considered or heard by the Court without depositing of the security amount of Rs. 5,000. This Court has continuously waived/exempted the requirement of depositing of Rs. 5,000 as security deposit in the petitions which raises the issue of public importance and litigations for public at large, who belongs to deprived and vulnerable sections of society and to assure them social and economic justice.

Framing of Rule 81 of the Rules of 2007 has been incorporated with an object to curb the filing of frivolous public interest litigations or petitions with oblique motive at the initial stage itself. There is no violation of any fundamental rights of the citizen as this Court is entertaining all the genuine public interest litigations by passing appropriate orders for exemption and waiver of depositing the security amount.

Non-framing of rules for depositing security amount by other High Courts itself will not make Rule 81 of the Rules of 2007 to be violative to Article 14 of the Constitution of India or fundamental rights. Though the chart prepared by learned counsel for the Petitioner showing number of public interest litigations filed in past years itself shows that filing of public interest litigation has gradually increased even after coming into force of Rule 81 of the Rules of 2007, which came into effect from December, 2007. The validity of rules cannot be tested on the ground of filing of number of petitions only as tried to be projected by the Petitioner. There may be several reasons for showing graph of public interest litigations up or down.

Whenever a public interest litigation is filed espousing a genuine cause or espousing the cause of the poor or downtrodden an application for exemption, this Court has been routinely exempting the Petitioners from giving a security deposit. Rule 81 has been incorporated under the Rules of 2007 with a purpose and object to be achieved that is to deter the Petitioners from filing the frivolous public interest litigation so as to save precious time of the Court, which can be utilised for deciding the genuine litigation. Rule 81 of the Rules of 2007 is not causing hindrance in any manner for the citizens/organisations of pro bono publico to approach this Court to knock the doors of justice for citizens incapable of seeking legal redressal. There is no violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India or any of the fundamental rights enshrined under the Constitution of India. Petition dismissed.

Tags : Fees Deposit Requirement Legality

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