"How far can courts go? PILs were devised as a mode to address the grievances of the poor and underprivileged who had no access to justice. But now it has gone on to investigate scams and many other fields. Now, it is used to question whether there should be a sports facility or not”, CJI Dipak Misra
“For what PILs were originally conceived and now what it has become..what it has come to..”, an upset Chief Justice Dipak Misra told senior advocate C U Singh during a nearly half an hour long hearing of a Public Interest Litigation which challenged construction of stadiums in Gujarat.
“Initially PILs were only for the poor and underprivileged, to improve their cause..for their upliftment…now look at this one..such petitions will stall investments in India”, CJI Misra told Singh who appeared for Gujarat Congress MLA Babubhai Meghaji Shah.
"How far can courts go? PILs were devised as a mode to address the grievances of the poor and underprivileged who had no access to justice. But now it has gone on to investigate scams and many other fields. Now, it is used to question whether there should be a sports facility or not. You are a political personality, yet you file a PIL. The project was announced after the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. Were you not aware then? Why was the PIL filed after the completion of the project?", CJI Misra said.
The MLA challenged the terms and conditions of land allotment to an MNC for constructing state-of-the-art sports complexes in the state long after the project's completion
The Bench dismissed Shah’s PIL against the Gujarat high court's decision to reject his PIL.
In the petition, Shah had questioned the state government's decision to allot land in Ahmedabad to SE TransStadia for the construction of a sports complex that could be converted from an outdoor stadium to an indoor one in six minutes.
Appearing for Shah, senior advocate C U Singh said according to the valuation of the land by the revenue department, the state should have got Rs 4 crore as annual lease rent, but the government asked for Rs 25 lakh as rent per year. "The petitioner is not against the stadium but it is not late to recover market rent from the allotted land," he said.
Justifying the valuation, the MNC, through senior advocate Harish Salve pointed out that the agreement between the state government and SE TransStadia, which had signed the MoU in 2009 at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit provided that the MNC would utilise 2% of its annual gross revenue or Rs 2 crore, whichever was higher, each year for development of sports in the state. He said the agreement was to build sports complexes on the 'hub-and-spoke' model - Ahmedabad was to have the largest complex. There will be four other smaller ones.