HYDERABAD: The first public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed in the new year 2021 boomeranged, incurred the wrath of the high court, and resulted in the slapping of a Rs 50,000 penalty for choosing PIL as a cover to espouse his own cause in the name of public interest.
The bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice A Abhishek Reddy minced no words when they realized that the petitioner, Gattu Kumara Swamy, Sarpanch of Laxmidevipet in Mulugu district, was trying to mislead them through his PIL. The petitioner complained that the station house officer of Venkatapur is harassing the people of his village by registering scores of FIRs against them. He sought action against the SHO. His counsel told the court that the Sarpanch has got no vested interest in the case but was only trying to uphold the interests of the people.
But the state counsel informed the bench that the petitioner is an accused in an FIR and he did not come to court with clean hands. The bench came down heavily both on the petitioner and his counsel and slapped costs on the petitioner asking him to pay it to the high court legal services wing. The bench also asked the registry to screen all the PILs filed by the counsel in this case in the backdrop of the current PIL.