In recent times it has been seen that Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been grossly misused by some to further their personal interests. Some people file absolutely nonsense PILs which do not even remotely have anything to do with the interest of the public ultimately resulting in the wastage of precious time of the court. The Karnataka High Court has taken action against such a person who filed a frivolous PIL. The court has asked him to deposit Rs. 5,000 within 30 days to the chief minister’s relief fund for Kodagu flood relief. TDR Harishchandra Gowda, in his PIL, had claimed that his warnings about 26/11 Mumbai terror attack had been ignored.
On 6 July also, TDR Harischandra Gowda filed a petition where he had asked for a direction from Governor’s office to contemplate his representations and install him as the Chief Minister of Karnataka. To make his case look ‘stronger’ he had claimed that he was a Nehru-Gandhi family patriot and member of All India Congress Committee (AICC) for 42 years. The court dismissed his petition instantaneously.
Not to be deterred, he knocked the doors of the court requesting to investigate and fix liability on bureaucrats for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
According to a Times of India report, during the hearing Gowda said that in November 2005, he had in advance warned the authorities on the possibility of a terror attack in Mumbai but authorities ignored his warning. He further said that on June 4, 2010, he informed the then President Pratibha Patil, who brought the matter in attention of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on June 19, 2010, asking them to intimate petitioner Gowda about action taken on his petition. Gowda claimed that no action has been initiated on his petition till date. Gowda also said that he also wrote to the incumbent PM Narendra Modi in December 2016 but still no action had been taken on his petition. When the court asked a cross-question as to why Gowda brought up the issue again after waiting for eight years then Gowda had no answer.
Gowda should be thankful to the Court for not throwing him behind the bars for wasting the precious time of the court and allow him to walk away with a small amount of donation for a noble cause. PILs are for the protection of interest of the public and not for entertainment purposes of individuals. If one wants to file a PIL then s/he should file it in areas such as violation of Human rights or fundamental rights, pollution control, road safety etc. In the past as well, PILs have been frequently misused for political purposes as well as anti-development work by shady NGOs and interest groups. Keeping this in mind, Supreme Court has observed that the concept of PILs needs to be revisited due to its misuse and a growing number of frivolous PILs.