Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Calcutta High Court imposes Rs 10,000 cost for vague allegations in PIL

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The Calcutta High Court has imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 on a petitioner and dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking a direction to the respondents to take action against alleged land mafias and intruders who are encroaching upon the land of a school.

The petitioners are residents of village Dakshin Gobindapur and have raised a plea that land in the District-South 24 Parganas was gifted by the predecessor-in-interest of the petitioner no.2 for the purpose of establishing a school and a primary school is running there. A further plea has been raised that in the recent past, the petitioners saw that some land mafias have been trying to encroach on the eight-feet wide passage which is exclusive property of the school.

It has been submitted by learned counsel for the petitioners that the mass representation was made in May 2022 to the authorities and has not been considered.

The counsel for the State has filed the report of the Inspector-in-Charge of the concerned police station revealing that Dag No.448 belongs to  Amar Chowdhury and Dag No.447 belongs to the school authority. In the meeting held on October 25, 1981 in the school, an understanding was arrived at that the school authority will enjoy the peaceful possession of eastern side of the land of Dag No. 448 which is situated in front of the entrance path of the school owned by Amar Chowdhury and the said Amar Chowdhury and his family member will use the western side of the Dag No.447 as entrance path of their house.   

The report reveals that though the transfer of land is not recorded but the school and Chowdhury family are using their land respectively. 

The report further mentions that the allegation that the land of the school is being used by land mafia is unsubstantiated and that an inquiry was made, wherein it was found that the allegation of making a boundary wall is also incorrect. The report states that the field inquiry was videographed by the Sub-Inspector.  

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice  Rajarshi Bharadwaj found that not only were the allegations made in the petition vague but there was also no material enclosed to substantiate it. It is noted by the Court that the petitioners have pleaded that the land of the school was gifted by the predecessor-in-interest of the petitioner no.2 but neither the name of the said  predecessor has been disclosed nor the details of the gift deed have been mentioned.

“Hence, we find that the present public interest petition is a misuse of process of law which is accordingly dismissed with costs of Rs 10,000 payable by the petitioners to the Legal Services Authority within two weeks,” the order reads.

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