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Uttarakhand High Court dismisses plea, says petitioner’s dispute can’t be entertained as PIL

Petitioner has also prayed to stay the effect of the status certificate dated 22.02.2018  and direct the District Magistrate Udham Singh Nagar  to take a decision on petitioner’s representation dated 26.10.2020.

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The Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday dismissed a PIL while observing that the petitioner has a personal dispute with the private respondent which has prompted him to approach the High Court time and again.

In the PIL, petitioner Bhagwan Singh Khalsa has prayed to quash the Status Certificate dated 22.02.2018  issued by District Magistrate, Udham Singh Nagar in favour of Private Respondent and directions to the state to conduct an appropriate inquiry in the matter and take action against the actual culprits including Tehsil officials of Tehsil Kashipur, in accordance with law.

The petitioner has also prayed to stay the effect of the status certificate dated 22.02.2018 and direct the District Magistrate, Udham Singh Nagar to take a decision on petitioner’s representation dated 26.10.2020.

Earlier, the petitioner has filed a petition (Bhagwan Singh Khalsa vs. District Magistrate and others), which was dismissed on 05.11.2020 on the ground that the petitioner has no locus standi to challenge the status report. Thereafter, the petitioner preferred Special Appeal (Bhagwan Singh Khalsa vs. District Magistrate/Collector, Udham Singh Nagar and others), which came up before the Division Bench headed by the Chief Justice of the High Court. It was dismissed as withdrawn on 02.07.2021, on the prayer of the petitioner to withdraw the writ application to file a PIL on the same issue. Though, no order on merit was passed, the petitioner was granted liberty to file PIL, hence, this PIL has been filed.

The Division Bench of Justice S.K. Mishra and Justice N.S. Dhanik observed that there are some previous disputes between the petitioner and the private respondent.

In the course of the hearing, the counsel for the petitioner has submitted that there is corruption in this case and the Tehsil officers indulged in corrupt practices in issuing status certificate in favour of the respondent.

The Bench asked the pointed question to the counsel for the petitioner about the averments he has made in the PIL regarding such corruption and the material he relied upon in the writ application in support of his contention regarding perpetuation of corruption by the officials in connivance with the Private Respondent . The Counsel for the petitioner pointed out that the petitioner has reflected in paragraphs about such corruption. The Court has carefully examined paragraphs for the purpose of clarity, which reads as under.

“18. That the respondent no.6 (Private Respondent) by obtaining and using the aforesaid status certificate, gets success the contract from Govt. departments working public utilities, by which he snatched the right of any eligible, meritorious/honest person. Hence his status certificate including the benefit received by him on said basis are liable to be cancelled after due inquiry. 23. That the respondent no.6 has hand in gloves with Kashipur Tehsil authorities resulting from the aforementioned illegal act, as such, the concerned persons are liable to be punished according to law.”

After examining the same, the Court noted that the petitioner does not whisper anywhere about any particulars regarding the corruption perpetuated by the officials of the State Government or the District Administration in connivance with the Private Respondent . “There is absolutely no material on record to show, prima facie, that actually corruption has taken place.”

“The learned counsel for the petitioner has relied upon some documents and agreed that the mathematical calculation made therein is incorrect. In our opinion, this petition should not be gone into a PIL,” held the Bench.

In that view of the matter, the Court dismissed the PIL while observing that the petitioner has a personal dispute with the Private Respondent which has prompted him to approach the High Court time and again.

The High Court also does not find any averment in the PIL regarding any effect of the grant of the status report/certificate in favour of private respondent on the general public.

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