Supreme Court terms PIL argued by Advocate Prashant Bhushan as personal interest plea, proceeds to dismiss it

The Supreme Court has dismissed a public interest litigation argued by Advocate Prashant Bhushan, calling it a businessman’s personal case camouflaged as a PIL.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan has argued several important petitions in the past, which resulted in landmark decisions from constitutional courts.

However on Thursday, a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud refused to entertain the petition filed by KM Cherian on the grounds that the petitioner was directly involved in the case.

Cherian had set up Frontier Lifeline, a company which has gone into liquidation. He had lost a challenge to the liquidation process against the company before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT). His petitions against the State Bank of India (SBI) in a related issue were also dismissed as withdrawn by the Apex Court.

Bhushan argued that the repayment of loan by medical research organisations should be under a different regime as suggested by Niti Ayog in 2018. He further sought direction to the government for prompt implementation of those suggestions.

The veteran lawyer said that unlike other businesses, the medical research gestation period was much longer and hence, these organisations should be given a liberal timeline for repayment of loans taken for medical research.

After the Bench refused to entertain the petition, Bhushan asked whether a person having personal knowledge of certain irregularities or deficiencies in the system would get barred from filing a PIL for rectification of the anomalies?

The Supreme Court, while refusing to answer the question, observed that it has already taken a view on the petition.