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"Stark Example Of PIL Abuse" Gujarat HC Dismisses Plea Regarding Use Of VVPATs, Listing Of Irregularities By State Election Commission With Cost Of Rs.500

Nupur Thapliyal
20 Jun 2021 4:02 AM GMT
Stark Example Of PIL Abuse Gujarat HC Dismisses Plea Regarding Use Of VVPATs, Listing Of Irregularities By State Election Commission With Cost Of Rs.500
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Observing that the petitioner had filed a successive PIL raising identical issues similar to an earlier PIL rejected by the Court, the Gujarat High Court has recently dismissed with cost of Rs. 500, a PIL pertaining to reservation of seats in local body elections, use of VVPAT machines and listing of illegalities practiced by State Election Commission.A division bench comprising of Chief...

Observing that the petitioner had filed a successive PIL raising identical issues similar to an earlier PIL rejected by the Court, the Gujarat High Court has recently dismissed with cost of Rs. 500, a PIL pertaining to reservation of seats in local body elections, use of VVPAT machines and listing of illegalities practiced by State Election Commission.

A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Biren Vaishnav observed thus:

"Easy access to judicial redressal mechanism particularly through Public Interest Litigation is at times misused/abused. This case by a successive Public Interest Litigation by the party-in-person is one such stark example of such abuse/misuse."

The Court was dealing with a plea seeking reservation of seats in favour of candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Socially and Educationally Backward Classes and Women in election to local bodies. Additionally, the plea also prayed that a mechanism must be in place to determine the reserved seats, use or VVPATs in the elections and also listing of irregularities and illegalities practiced by the State Election Commission.

Noting that a similar PIL was filed by the petitioner which was rejected by the Court, the bench observed thus:

"The present petition, together with the prayers and the pleadings when perused would indicate that for an identical nature of pleadings and the prayers made in the earlier petition, the present petition has been filed. Vague averments without any material on record in support thereof have been made with regard to determination of reservation of seats, when in fact the mechanism of determination of rotation and allocation of seats is a scientific process done by the State Authorities by enactment of rules."

The petitioner, claiming himself to be a Maha Mantri of Bahujan Samaj Party, Gujarat had filed a PIL which the Court had vide order dated 1st February 2021 dismissed after observing that the bench was "unable to make head and tail out of it."

In view of this, the Court observed that the petitioner was persisted in filing the same petition though the earlier petition was rejected despite callous approach to filing such petitions was deprecated earlier by the Court. 

"Incoherent pleadings not supported by any material, multiple grievances unconnected with each other have been placed in the petition without application of mind." The Court said.

Furthermore, it said:

"We are, therefore, constrained to dismiss this petition filed by the petitioner – party-in-person as being without merit. Considering the fact that this was a second attempt of the petitioner at filing a frivolous petition, when once this court has unequivocally deprecated the petitioner's callous attitude, we dismiss the petition with cost of Rs.500/."

Title: NIRANJAN GHOSH, MAHAMANTRI, BAHUJAN SAMAJ PARTY Versus THE STATE ELECTION COMMISSION 

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