City-based NGO Bhrashtachar Nirmoolan Sangathan will have to pay Rs 25,000 instead of Rs 40 lakh for filing a frivolous public interest ligitation.
The Supreme Court reduced the amount of cost imposed on it by Bombay High Court so that it will act as a deterrent for those who file public interest litigations (PILs) on frivolous grounds.
On January 13, the Bombay High Court had imposed cost of Rs 40 lakh and had asked the NGO’s convener Manav Joshi to pay Rs 10 lakh each to four respondents who were unnecessary harassed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, plot owner Ispat Industries, developer Sameer Bhojwani and the developer Peddar Road Reality Limited.
In 2009, Brashtachar Nirmoolan filed a PIL in 2009 seeking demolition of an upcoming high-rise at Peddar Road in south Mumbai. It alleged that the building at the junction of Peddar road and Vakil Lane in south Mumbai has used up more Floor Space Index than permitted.
Advocates for the NGO – Uday Warunjikar, Vinay Navare and A. Lalit – argued that it was not a frivolous PIL and that the petitioner had done sufficient ground work and collected information before filing it.
“The NGO had been instrumental in filing various other petitions in interest of public. Hence, the NGO’s credibility in filing the petition cannot be doubted,” argued Warunjikar.
The high court had expressed displeasure over the PIL, seeking demolition of one building after a survey by a court commissioner. The HC had expressed that it was nothing but wasting court’s time and public money.