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"Sheer Abuse Of Process": Delhi HC Dismisses Advocate's PIL Seeking List Of Private Liquor Vendors Allegedly Harassed By CBI, ED With 1 Lakh Cost

Nupur Thapliyal
12 Sep 2022 12:45 PM GMT
Sheer Abuse Of Process: Delhi HC Dismisses Advocates PIL Seeking List Of Private Liquor Vendors Allegedly Harassed By CBI, ED With 1 Lakh Cost
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The Delhi High Court has dismissed with 1 lakh cost a public interest litigation seeking a list of 186 private liquor vendors allegedly harassed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED). A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad dismissed the plea at admission stage and directed the cost to...

The Delhi High Court has dismissed with 1 lakh cost a public interest litigation seeking a list of 186 private liquor vendors allegedly harassed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED).

A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad dismissed the plea at admission stage and directed the cost to be paid to the Army War Widows Fund within a period of 30 days.

The plea filed by one Narinder Khanna, an advocate by profession, also sought a direction to be issued to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi to identify those persons who are causing harassment to 186 liquor vendors forcing them to close their shops, thereby depriving them of their right of livelihood guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

"The petitioner has not named a single officer of the CBI, or of the Directorate of Enforcement who has harassed a single liquor vendor, nor has he given details of any kind of such harassment and based upon the so-called press releases/ statement made in the press, he wants a roving inquiry to be done by this Court. The present petition is nothing but a sheer abuse of the process of law and the petitioner wants a roving inquiry to be done by this Court based upon vague and absurd allegations," the Court said.

As per the petitioner, he had heard a news or statement on "India TV" news channel made by the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi that the Central Investigating Agencies were harassing the private liquor vendors and that they had been forced to close their shops.

The petitioner further stated that the Delhi Deputy Chief Minister also confirmed that on closure of private liquor shops, heavy loss was caused to the State Exchequer resulting in loss of livelihood to private liquor vendors and the general public was deprived of the opportunity to purchase liquor at discounted price.

The High Court observed that the Supreme Court had held in Janata Dal v. H.S. Chowdhary that the forum of approaching Courts by way of newly developed Doctrine of PILs should not be permitted to be abused.

"…. in the considered opinion of this Court, the petition is nothing but sheer abuse of the Doctrine of Public Interest Litigation, and therefore, deserves to be dismissed," the Court observed.

While imposing cost on the petitioner, the Court clarified if the amount is not paid within 30 days, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, New Delhi District will recover the amount as arrears of land revenue and shall transfer the same to the Army War Widows Fund with intimation to the Registrar General of the Court.

Case Title: NARINDER KHANNA v. GOVT OF DELHI AND ORS.

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 856

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