To deter those who file frivolous public interest litigations (PIL) on flimsy grounds, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday imposed a fine of Rs 40 lakh on NGO Bhrashtachar Nirmoolan Sangathan.
In 2009, the NGO filed a PIL alleging that a building at the junction of Peddar road and Vakil Lane in south Mumbai had used up more floor space index (FSI) than permitted.
The land owned by Ispat Industries is being developed by Peddar Realty Developers.
The FSI is the ratio of the total floor area of buildings on a certain location to the size of the land of that location, or the limit imposed on such a ratio.
A division bench comprising Justice J.N. Patel and Justice B.R. Gavai dismissed the PIL filed by Bhrashtachar Nirmoolan ruling that such frivolous petitions waste public money as well as the court’s time.
“The tendency to file frivolous public interest litigations must be curtailed,” remarked Patel. “Unless the court discourages such litigations, such petitions will keep piling. This is one such petition and hence needs to be dismissed with cost for abusing the court process,” he added.
The HC has asked the NGO’s convener Manav Joshi to pay Rs 10 lakh each to four respondents unnecessary troubled by the PIL: the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, plot owner Ispat Industries, developer Sameer Bhojwani and developer Peddar Road Reality Limited.
After the plea was filed, the corporation and the developers produced documents and permissions, which proved that the construction was in accordance with Development Control Regulations.
The NGO, based in suburban Goregaon, earlier filed PILs in the Mumbai HC including one against actor Shah Rukh Khan’s bungalow Mannat.