Delhi HC dismisses with Rs 1 lakh costs PIL alleging harassment of private liquor vendors


PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 12-09-2022 18:32 IST | Created: 12-09-2022 18:32 IST
Delhi HC dismisses with Rs 1 lakh costs PIL alleging harassment of private liquor vendors
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New Delhi, Sep 12 (PTI)The Delhi High Court has dismissed with Rs one lakh costs public interest litigation by a lawyer seeking directions for the identification of persons “harassing” private liquor vendors in the national capital and forcing them to close their shops.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma said that the petition by lawyer Narinder Khanna was “nothing but a sheer abuse of the process of law” and he wanted a “roving inquiry” on the basis of “vague and absurd allegations” and directed that the costs be deposited by him towards the Army War Widows Fund.

“In the considered opinion of this Court, the present petition is nothing but a sheer abuse of the process of law, and therefore, the present petition is dismissed at the admission stage itself with costs of Rs.1,00,000 (Rupees One Lakh) to be paid to the Army War Widows Fund within a period of 30 days from today,” said the bench, also comprising Justice Subramonium Prasad, in its order dated September 8.

“It is made clear that if the amount is not paid within 30 days from today, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, New Delhi District will recover the amount as arrears of land revenue and shall transfer the same to the Army War Widows Fund with intimation to the Registrar General of this Court,” the court clarified.

Relying on statements made by the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, the petitioner had contended that the central investigating agencies were harassing the private liquor vendors and heavy loss was caused to the state exchequer besides loss of livelihood of over 170 private liquor vendors.

The general public was deprived of the opportunity to purchase liquor at a discounted price in terms of the applicable excise policy, he further argued.

The court asserted that personal scores, personal disputes, and political rivalries should not be resolved through PIL while noting that the petitioner “raised all kinds of wild allegations” on the basis of statements of third persons and newspaper clippings.

The court added that the petitioner did not name a single officer of the CBI or ED who has harassed a single liquor vendor and also did not give any details of any kind of such harassment.

“The Hon'ble Supreme Court … has held that the forum of approaching Courts by way of newly developed Doctrine of Public Interest Litigation should not be permitted to be abused, and in the considered opinion of this Court, the petition is nothing but sheer abuse of the Doctrine of Public Interest Litigation, and therefore, deserves to be dismissed,” the court said.

“The petitioner has not named a single officer of the CBI, or of the Directorate of Enforcement who has harassed a single liquor vendor, nor has he given details of any kind of such harassment and based upon the so-called press releases/ statement made in the press, he wants a roving inquiry to be done by this Court. The present petition is nothing but sheer abuse of the process of law and the petitioner wants a roving inquiry to be done by this Court based upon vague and absurd allegations,” the court observed.

Delhi government standing counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi and advocate Arun Panwar had earlier opposed the petition saying it was not maintainable and should be dismissed with heavy costs.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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