The Madhya Pradesh High Court has imposed a fine on a Bhopal-based RTI activist for filing a malicious Public Interest Litigation (PIL) accusing the state government of misusing funds allocated under the 13th Finance Commission.
The court imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the activist, who in his petition had alleged that the government had misused Rs 700 crore .
A division bench of chief justice AM Khanwilkar and justice KK Trivedi said the petition had been filed by a person, who claimed to be a social worker.
“We are more than convinced that the petitioner has been set up by someone or that the petitioner himself has chosen to file this malicious and vexatious petition for getting publicity, knowing that there is no merit in his complaint,” the court said.
“The remedy of PIL cannot be invoked for such cause,” the court added.
The court was dissatisfied with the rejoinder filed by the petitioner Ajay Dubey in response to the reply of respondents.
Secretary of rural development ministry in the affidavit has refuted the petitioner's claim and said that there was self-operating mechanism to regulate the use of funds earmarked under 13th finance commission.
The deputy accountant general in an affidavit filed on behalf of the respondents CAG and the accountant general said, “The MP government has accepted for audit of funds sanctioned under the 13th Finance Commission and the same is in progress and final report is under preparation.”
While dismissing the PIL on May 6, 2015, the court directed Dubey to pay the fine within four weeks.
In case the petitioner fails to pay the fine, the court will direct the district collector to recover the amount within eight weeks.