SC slaps fine on NGO held guilty for proxy PIL

SC slaps fine on NGO held guilty for proxy PIL

A bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia imposed a fine of Rs one lakh on the NGO, Kalyaneshwari, and punished its secretary D K Sharma by directing him to remain present in the court room till the rising of the bench.

The bench, also comprising justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar said that after the bench rose, contemnor Sharma will have to remain present in the Supreme Court Registrar's office till the day's work is over.

The apex court had initiated suo motu contempt proceedings against the NGO for abusing the PIL mechanism on behalf of the steel lobby to seek a ban on asbestos in the country on the plea that it posed a serious health hazard.

Earlier, the NGO after being issued contempt notice, had offered to make an unconditional apology for filing the PIL.

The court, however, refused to allow the NGO to wriggle out with an apology for fighting a "proxy business battle" through the PIL.

"You may file your apology in an affidavit. We may not accept your apology but impose a heavy cost on you," the bench had said.

The bench had on January 21 dismissed the Kolkata- based NGO's plea for a ban on asbestos material and initiated contempt proceedings against it.

The NGO invited the court's ire as it came to light that the organisation's office bearers had heavy stakes in steel industry and wanted a ban on asbestos to ensure promotion of its own material as a substitute.

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