The Bombay High Court has dismissed a Public Interest Litigation with a cost of Rs. 1 to be paid by petitioners for pursuing their own cause on the pretext of filing a PIL.

The bench of Justice Sunil B. Shukre and Justice M. W. Chandwani held thus "The petition stands dismissed with costs of Rs.1/- which shall be paid by the petitioners within two weeks from the date of the order; failing which the petitioners shall pay costs of Rs.10,000/-…."

Advocate Mohnish Thorat appeared for petitioners. Ketki Joshi, Addl. G. P. appeared for respondent State.

It was the petitioner's case that because of the framing of some guidelines by the State of Maharashtra vide its Government Resolution in particular the guidelines relating to the place of origin of the persons belonging to Mahadev-Koli, Schedule Tribes, the petitioners are not being issued any tribe certificate by the competent authority.

According to the petitioner, these guidelines are illegal as they amount to imposing area restrictions upon the persons desirous of obtaining caste/tribe certificate from the competent authority, when the area restrictions have been removed long back.

The Court observed that "Firstly, the petitioners on the pretext of filing a public interest litigation are basically pursuing their own cause, which is evident from the fact that petitioners are personally aggrieved by non-issuance of tribe certificates to them, which is the submission of their learned counsel."

The Court also noted that the guidelines contained in the aforesaid government resolution, which dwell upon the places of origin of Mahadev Koli tribals do not impose any area restrictions for deciding the tribe claims.

The Court further added that "If there is any person who is aggrieved by some or the other interpretation of these guidelines by a particular scrutiny committee, he would be always at liberty to approach this Court by invoking writ jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India."

Thus the Court held that the petition is not maintainable and observed that it is an abuse of the process of the Court.

Therefore the Court dismissed the petition while imposing a cost of Rs. 1.

Cause Title- Babarao Sheshrao Pete and another v. Union of India and others

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