The Bombay High Court recently asked a petitioner to pay Rs 1 lakh to Tata Cancer Research Society stating that the petitioner, an auto- rickshaw driver who had filed a public interest litigation against a construction company claiming to be an RTI activist, was put up by a third party with vested interest in the case.
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“We are satisfied that the petitioner has obviously been put up by someone. It is also pertinent to note that no particulars have been given by the petitioner regarding his philanthropic work. Under these circumstances, in our view, this is a fit case where the petitioner should be asked to pay costs quantified at Rs one lakh. The petitioner should pay this amount to Tata Cancer Research Society and file a compliance report in this court,” said Justice VM Kanade.
In the petition against a residential building by a private company in Ville Parle East, Sanjay Chavan had claimed that he is an active philanthropist, a social worker and an RTI activist. He had alleged that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had erred in granting commencement certificate for the project and had sought cancellation of its occupation certificate and demolition of the 19-storeyed building.
He further claimed that the private company had illegally constructed the residential tower on the land reserved for municipal school.
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Hearing the plea, the court pointed out that the petitioner had approached the court almost 10 years after the flats in the said building were occupied by the flat purchasers.
Advocate BD Joshi, appearing for Chavan, had argued that the company had deceived the tenants in the area whose land was also acquired by the company who then constructed the residential complex above a primary school even though the entire plot was reserved specifically for municipal school and not for residential complex.
Senior Counsel SU Kamdar, appearing for the company, said that the building was constructed after obtaining permission from the authorities concerned. He further stated that the charges levelled against the company were malicious and false and had been made with the aim to threaten and extort money from them. “The petition should be dismissed with a cost,” said Kamdar.
“In our view, all these submissions made by the petitioner’s counsel are without any substance,” said the court.
“We would like to note here that it appears that the petitioner is trying to agitate the cause of the tenants after possession of their respective flats in the said building was obtained by the flat purchasers,” the court observed further.