HC junks PIL asking Modi to pay Sadbhavana Bill

Court observes expenditure from public exchequer is subject of executive and judiciary could not interfere.

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published:February 22, 2012 3:47 am

The Gujarat High Court (HC) on Tuesday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) demanding directions to the state government to recover the cost incurred on Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s Sadbhavana fast at Ahmedabad between September 17 and 19 last year either from Modi or from the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party.

Dismissing the PIL,the court observed that expenditure from the public exchequer is a subject of the executive and judiciary could not interfere in it.

The petition was moved by one Rajesh Mota from Ahmedabad. Mota’s lawyer Ratna Vora had contended that Modi’s “Sadbhavana Mission” could either be called his personal programme or that of the BJP party but it could not be called a public function of the state government. And therefore,the money spent on the same should be recovered from either Modi or the BJP.

However,a division bench of HC comprising acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala summarily dismissed the PIL,saying it is devoid of merits.

The court observed,“It appears…that Sadhbhavana… is a programme launched by the state government in goodwill or good faith…it appears that under the programme,the Chief Minister of the state decided to visit different places all over the state and meet the people at large. It also appears that as part of the programme,people from different regions within the state are being apprised of the work undertaken by the state government.”

“This court is in no way concerned with the political ideology of a particular elected government or its method of reaching out to the public at large to apprise them of different welfare schemes or projects undertaken by such government,” it added.

“…We do not think this court is competent to go into the question as to whether the expenditure incurred by the government is for a public purpose or not,or whether it is wise or not. Our Constitution envisages that the executive is responsible to the legislature and every policy and action is subject to its scrutiny and that is in consonance with Westminster system of Parliamentary democracy,” the court further observed.

Petitioner’s lawyer Vora said they are going to challenge the order in the Supreme Court.

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