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Bombay HC dismisses PIL on forgery of gram panchayat records, says suit can’t be PIL

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The Bombay High Court has recently dismissed a PIL observing that when the interests of affected parties can be protected by under a particular statute, such parties should be relegated to the appropriate forum instead of entertaining a PIL.

The PIL has been filed by Sandeep Dnyanoba Undre, who complained of forgery of gram panchayat records which has ultimately resulted in a particular trust being divested of its property. It is admitted at the bar that the petitioner is a taxpayer and resident of the relevant gram panchayat.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice G.S. Kulkarni noted that despite being aware of prima facie fabrication of documents, Petitioner has not lodged any criminal complaint pertaining to commission of cognizable offence.

“Law is well settled that when the interests of affected parties can be protected and the controversy or dispute can be adjudicated by a mechanism created under a particular statute, such parties should be relegated to the appropriate forum instead of entertaining a public interest litigation,” observed the Bench.

The Bench relied on the decision reported in (2014) 5 SCC 530 (Jaipur Shahar Hindu Vikas Samiti vs. State of Rajasthan) in this connection. Calling it misconceived, the High Court dismissed the PIL.

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