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Sunday, October 24, 2021

SC pulls up petitioner for filing PIL without adequate research

The petitioner was seeking the “implementation of the National Health Policy 2017 formulated by the Union government”.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
September 27, 2021 9:39:36 pm
Supreme CourtFile photo of the Supreme Court of India.

The Supreme Court Monday rebuked a petitioner for filing a public interest litigation without adequate research, saying he cannot use the argument of public interest to dump the burden of culling out essential arguments on the court.

The petitioner was seeking the “implementation of the National Health Policy 2017 formulated by the Union government”.

“You can’t just annex a report and expect the Court to just take charge. You can’t just say ‘implement the budget of 2021’. You have to specify the shortfall, you have to indicate how there has been a failure in compliance. You are not bereft of the burden of pleadings just because this is a PIL”, Justice D Y Chandrachud, heading a bench, told the petitioner’s counsel.

“You have to do your home-work and give the specifics, you have to gather data and indicate the critical area which requires focus, so that we know which state government or which authority to issue notice to! You have to bear the burden, you can’t leave it on the court or the State. Don’t move petitions otherwise if you don’t want to take any burden. You cannot just give one example of one individual in Andhra Pradesh! Can we give directions on an all-India basis based on one example?”, he asked.

The counsel replied that it will be “difficult” to collect the specific data as sought by the court. The bench responded that the petitioner must not venture into such things if he thinks producing the requisite information is “difficult”.

“Obviously, it is difficult. Why should it not be difficult? This is not some prisoner raising individual grievances, where we would intervene immediately even if it is on a post-card. But you are raising policy issues of nationwide application, so you must bear the burden”, said the bench which also had Justice B V Nagarathna.

The court allowed the petitioner to withdraw the petition so that he can file a fresh one with all the pleadings complete.

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