SC imposes Rs 25 lakh on Karnataka activist for abuse of PIL process

SC imposes Rs 25 lakh on Karnataka activist for abuse of PIL process

SC imposes Rs 25 lakh on Karnataka activist for abuse of PIL process
The Supreme Court on Monday slapped a whopping cost of Rs 25 lakh on social activist T J Abraham for challenging shifting of proposed mini Vidhan Soudha in Kalaburagi district of Karnataka by filing a public interest litigation.

A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar said this is an abuse of the concept of public interest litigation.

"Shifting of mini Vidhan Soudha (an office complex for government) by extent of six-km in Kalaburagi is not a matter of public interest. It does not espouse any kind of public cause. It pertains to smooth administration only," the bench said.

Though senior advocate Salman Khurshid, appearing for Abraham, said he beseeched to waive off the cost as it is too harsh, the bench went ahead to direct him to deposit Rs 25 lakh with the apex court registry.

During the hearing, Abraham contended that the government's decision to shift the mini Vidhan Soudha would affect seed farming as it has decided to take away its own agriculture department land.

Karnataka Advocate General M R Naik contended that the petitioner has jumped into the issue unnecessarily as he had nothing to do with the decision.

Earlier two women had made conditional gift deed to the government pledging five acres of land for building office complex in the district. In final decision, the state government proposed to use its own land belonging to agriculture department. The HC had earlier declined to interfere into the matter, prompting Abraham to approach the apex court through special leave petition.
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