HC dismisses PIL against Thackerays
June 30, 2022  12:18
Uddhav Thackeray with his resignation letter to Governor Koshyari
Uddhav Thackeray with his resignation letter to Governor Koshyari
The Bombay High Court on Thursday termed as "politically induced litigation" a PIL filed by seven citizens seeking action against dissident Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde and other rebel MLAs of the party, and said it would hear the plea if the petitioners deposit Rs 1 lakh as security. 

 A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M S Karnik also dismissed another public interest litigation (PIL) filed by social worker Hemant Patil seeking registration of an FIR against Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, his son Aaditya Thackeray and party leader Sanjay Raut for "sedition and breach of public peace". 

 Both the pleas were filed earlier this week. The petition filed by the seven citizens said Shinde and other rebel MLAs had caused political turmoil and instigated internal disorder. 

The plea also sought a direction to the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to submit a detailed plan of assurance detailing the process of governance in absence of several of its ministers.

In his PIL, Patil sought the court to restrain the trio (the Thackerays and Raut) from making any further statements against the rebel MLAs. 

 The high court, while hearing Patil's plea, said there was recourse in law for the petitioner to approach a magistrate's court with a private complaint.

While hearing the PIL filed by seven citizens, the bench asked their lawyer Asim Sarode if the plea should still be heard in view of the developments on Wednesday (wherein Uddhav Thackeray resigned as Maharashtra chief minister). Sarode said the court ought to take cognisance and act against the rebel MLAs for abstaining from work and neglecting their duties. 

 The bench then asked why the court should take cognisance of this. "You have elected the ministers, you take action. Why should we take cognisance?" chief justice Datta asked.

 The court then asked Sarode which rule says that the MLAs or ministers have to remain in the city or state all the time. Sarode then sought time to find out if there was any such rule. 

 "Prima facie, we are of the view that this is an absolutely politically induced litigation. The petitioners have not made requisite research. We direct the petitioners to deposit Rs one lakh as security within two weeks," the court directed. The bench said if the money is deposited then the PIL shall be placed for hearing after three weeks and if not then it shall stand disposed of. -- PTI
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