Abusing PILs

The Supreme Court makes the petitioner in a public interest litigation accountable

Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

To check the growing abuse of public interest petitions, the Supreme Court has said, "The public must be compensated both for the delay in implementation of the project and the cost escalation resulting from such a delay."

Justice B N Kirpal and Justice Sujata V Manohar, while setting aside a Bombay High Court verdict through which the execution of the Khanperkheda thermal power station project was delayed, said that the party at whose instance interim orders were obtained must be made accountable for the consequences.

The apex court ruled that an interim order could not only cause undue delay in the completion of the project, but also escalate the costs. The court ruled: "When a stay order is obtained at the instance of a private party or even at the instance of a body litigating in public interest, any interim order which stops the project from proceeding further, must provide for the reimbursement of costs to the public in case the litigation started by the individual or body fails."

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