Monday, October 2, 2023

Calcutta High Court dismisses PIL noting it’s a private dispute

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The Calcutta High Court dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) noting that private civil dispute cannot be permitted under the head of PIL.

The petitioner’s plea was on the land purchased by his grandfather. The petitioner’s brother and sister had received the same in gift. Further plea has been raised that there was some settlement and full settlement was not entered into the deed of gift due to a typographical mistake and that the private respondents are taking advantage of this. In the petition, it was alleged that the private respondents are raising illegal construction on the plot in question.  

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the land belongs to the petitioner’s brother and sister and the petitioner has no personal interest in the matter, therefore it is a public interest petition and that there is dispute relating to the land record, therefore the petition should be entertained.   

The Counsel for the State pointed out that the brother and sister of the petitioner had earlier filed two petitions in which appropriate orders were passed by the Court and it is a private dispute which is sought to be raised. According to him, the land in question is a vested land belonging to the State which has been leased out for 99 years in favour of Phanindra Chandra Das.  

Having heard the counsel for the parties and on perusal of the record, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj noted that earlier petitioner’s brother and sister had filed a petition with the allegation that the private respondent therein had illegally made construction on the land of the petitioner. That petition was disposed of with liberty to the petitioner to take appropriate steps in accordance with law before the concerned authorities. Again another petition was filed by them with the allegation that the private respondent therein was raising illegal construction thereupon and the said petition was also disposed of directing the concerned authorities to decide the petitioner’s representation. The cause title of the petition and the petitions filed earlier reveal that the petitioner and his brother and sister are residing at the same address.  

It has also been pointed out by counsel for the State referring to the documents enclosed with this petition that it is a petition set up by the brother and sister of the petitioner to raise their personal cause in PIL.  

“A perusal of the petition reveals that it is pure private civil dispute which is sought to be agitated in the PIL which is not permissible in law. We, therefore, find that the petition is not a bona fide petition and no public interest is involved in the matter. Hence, the petition is dismissed,” the order reads.

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