SC says PILs being used to settle political rivalries

The top court deprecated brazen misuse of PIL jurisdiction by people with personal agenda with an aim to seek publicity or to settle political and business rivalries.
Highlights: 
The top court deprecated brazen misuse of PIL jurisdiction by people with personal agenda with an aim to seek publicity or to settle political and business rivalries.

The Supreme Court on Thursday cautioned about a danger that may reduce the judicial process to a charade if disputes beyond the ken of legal parameters occupied the judicial space.

The top court deprecated brazen misuse of PIL jurisdiction by people with personal agenda with an aim to seek publicity or to settle political and business rivalries.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the misuse of public interest litigation (PIL) was a serious matter of concern for the judicial process.

“It is a travesty of justice for the resources of the legal system to be consumed by an avalanche of misdirected petitions purportedly filed in the public interest which, upon due scrutiny, are found to promote a personal, business or political agenda. This has spawned an industry of vested interests in litigation,” the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.

It has the propensity of endangering the credibility of other institutions and undermining public faith in democracy and the rule of law. This will happen when the agency of the court is utilised to settle extra-judicial scores, it said.

Dismissing a batch of PILs seeking probe into the death of special CBI judge B H Loya, the bench said business rivalries have to be resolved in a competitive market for goods and services. Political rivalries have to be resolved in the great hall of democracy when the electorate votes its representatives in and out of office.

“Courts resolve disputes about legal rights and entitlements. Courts protect the rule of law,” the bench said, adding frivolous and motivated petitions, ostensibly invoking the public interest detract from the time and attention which courts must devote to genuine causes.

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