The Chhattisgarh High Court recently disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed espousing the cause of 87 families, who are residents of Shanti Nagar, Korba, for proper and adequate relocation / rehabilitation / compensation as their lands, buildings etc. had been taken over for creation of Green Belt adjacent to the 1200MW Thermal Power Plant (TPP) of Bharat Aluminium Company Limited.
The PIL was filed by one Jayant Chatterjee.
U.N.S. Deo, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that another PIL was filed before the High Court and in the said petition, the High Court had issued notices on 04.04.2022 and therefore, notices may be issued in this case also. He has placed before the High Court a copy of the petition for perusal of the High Court.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice Rajendra Chandra Singh Samant on perusal of the earlier petition noted that the said petition was filed by one Shanti Nagar Punarwas Samiti, which is a society registered under the Chhattisgarh Society Registration Act, 1973, constituted by the residents of Shanti Nagar, Korba, who have been residing there for very long time.
In the said petition, prayer is sought for directing the Bharat Aluminium Company Limited to acquire suitable land and develop it and carry out the steps to rehabilitate the residents of the Shanti Nagar area in Korba, observed the Court.
Rule 80 (1) of the High Court of Chhattisgarh Rules, 2007 (for short, ‘the Rules of 2007’), reads as follows:
“80 (1) If a proceeding in the nature of Public Interest Litigation has already been entertained and is pending no other petition or communication relating to the same matter shall be entertained. Any person wishing to place any other facet of the same matter before the Court, may accordingly, apply for directions in the pending matter.”
When the fundamental issue in the present public interest litigation is more or less same with that of an already pending public interest litigation, in view of the provisions of Rule 80(1) of the Rules of 2007, the High Court does not entertain the Current petition. If the petitioner wishes to place any facet of the matter before the High Court, he may accordingly, apply for directions in the pending public interest litigation , the Court directed .