The Bombay High Court dismissed a PIL seeking to lower the salaries of MLAs.

The Court observed that the petition lacked legal grounds to support the requested reliefs and was filled with loose, unsavory, and generalized statements.

The Court expressed strong disapproval of the way the petition was filed and presented as it had no legal ground in support of the reliefs which were prayed for.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Justice Arif S. Doctor observed, “The Petitioner has specifically sought for repealing of amendments which are carried out in Legislative Members’ salaries and allowances from the year 2020. The same is nothing but a challenge to the constitutional validity of the Maharashtra Act No.XXXII of 2016

Bhagvanji Raiyani, the petitioner, appeared in person, while GP P. H. Kantharia appeared for the respondent.

The Court remarked, “When we inquired of Mr. Raiyani i.e., Petitioner No. 2 appearing in person, as to how the present Petition would be maintainable…, instead of answering the query of the Court Mr. Raiyani proceeded to read out the entire Petition.

The court said that the petitioner did not make any legal submissions in support of the reliefs he sought, nor did he answer the query of the Court maintainability of the petition.

The Court held that since the petitioner had challenged the constitutional validity of Maharashtra Act No. XXXII of 2016, the following should have been demonstrated:

  • that the legislature lacked the competence to enact such amendments and
  • that the amendments were in violation of any of the provisions of the Constitution of India.

The Court noted that “the Petitioner is required to make submissions in law and not give his opinion to the Court.”

The Court disapproved of the petitioner's inclusion of loose, unsavory and generalized statements in the petition regarding the alleged horse-trading of MLAs and security personnel provided for VIPs. The Court stated that the petition relied on random Google searches and newspaper articles regarding the poaching of elected representatives by political parties.

The Court relied on the Supreme Court’s decision in Ashok Kumar Pandey v. State of West Bengal & Ors (2004) 3 SCC 349 where it was held that nobody should be allowed to indulge in wild and reckless allegations besmirching the character of others and that “no litigant has a right to unlimited draught on the Courts and easy access to justice should not be misused as a license to file misconceived and frivolous petitions and that today people rush to Courts to file cases in profusion under this attractive name of public interest.”

The Court in its conclusion pointed out the petitioner's history of filing vague and generalized petitions.

The High Court dismissed the petition.

Cause Title: Forum For Fast Justice & Anr. v. Government of Maharashtra (2024:BHC-OS:732-DB)

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