The Allahabad High Court dismissed a PIL holding that a litigant who touches the pure fountain of justice with tainted hands was not entitled to any relief and imposed a heavy cost to set a deterrent example.

A social worker had filed a PIL for the removal of illegal constructions and unauthorised occupation from a land that was declared as 'enemy property' under the Enemy Property Act, 1968 (the Act) by “land mafias” through unauthorised possession of the property.

The petitioner claimed to have filed the petition to "eradicate the evils persistent in the society and irregularities committed by the Authorities,” stating that he had no vested interest in the property.

However, the Court found out that the petitioner was in continuous litigation with the respondents and had made no disclosure of any of the proceedings in the entire petition. The Court held that the petitioner was guilty of suppressing material facts and proceedings from the Court.

A Division Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Gupta and Justice Kshitij Shailendra observed, “We are fully convinced that the instant petition is a gross misuse and abuse of process of law and deserves dismissal with heavy cost so that it may set a deterrent example to discard unscruplous persons from invoking Writ Jurisdiction for their vested interest under the camouflage of PIL.

Advocate Priyavrat Tripathi represented the petitioner, while C.S.C. Irfan Chaudhary appeared for the respondents.

The Court explained that Sub-rule (3-A) in Rule 1 of the Allahabad High Court Rules, 1952 (the Rules) mandates that the petitioner seeking to file a PIL petition should “precisely and specifically disclose his credentials and the public cause he is seeking to espouse with clear mention that he has no personal or private interest in the matter.

The Court remarked that “now it is well settled that a litigant, who attempts to pollute the stream of justice or who touches the pure fountain of justice with tainted hands, is not entitled to any relief, interim or final.

The Court stated that the PIL filed attracted the application of supressio veri, expression falsi, which translates to “suppression of truth is equivalent to the expression of falsehood.

Consequently, the Court dismissed the PIL and imposed a cost of Rs.50,000/- on the petitioner holding that the said sum must be utilized “for those who are in need of money, i.e. to say that it must go for the welfare of the society, particularly, those who are under-privileged or downtrodden for any reason.

Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the petition.

Cause Title: Akbar Abbass Zaidi v. State Of U.P & Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024:AHC:31999-DB)


Petitioner: Advocates Priyavrat Tripathi and Ram Adhar Yadav

Respondents: C.S.C. Irfan Chaudhary

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