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PIL system being misused now: SC upholds costs on 'vague' publicity-hungry petitioners

The Supreme Court yesterday said that the public interest litigation (PIL) system may have started with good intentions to help the poor people by espousing their cause before the higher judiciary but was now being misused for raising frivolous matters.

“It was started with a good intention of to help the poor people of this country. But it is being misused now,” said a bench of Chief Justice HL Dattu and Justice AK Sikri as it rejected a petition by KR Ramaswamy alias ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy and advocate N Rajaraman who had challenged the Madras high court order imposing cost of Rs. 25,000 on them for filing a vague PIL for publicity.

The Madras high court dismissed the plea of Ramaswamy and Rajaraman that the Tamil Nadu chief minister who succeeded Jayalalithaa after she was convicted by a Bangalore court in a corruption case was in a situation of conflict of interest as he was taking instruction from her (Jayalalithaa) and had imposed cost on them.

The high court, while not accepting Ramaswamy’s contention, had by its Sep 30 order, imposed a cost, observing the petitioners Ramaswamy and Rajaraman had filed the PIL for publicity as they had filed it immediately after giving the representation to the governor’s office Sep 29.

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