The Karnataka High Court has fined a petitioner Rs 50,000 for challenging the bench in connection with the quashing of public interest litigation (PIL) submitted by the petitioner on street lights. The court observed that the petition had been filed with an intention of enmity.
The High Court divisional bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma gave the order on Wednesday.
The court has directed the petitioner Advocate Ramesh L. Naik to pay the fine amount within 30 days to Karnataka Advocates Clerks Welfare Association Fund.
The petitioner had filed a PIL regarding the installations of street lights on a 32 kilometre stretch of Bengaluru-Tumkur National Highway. The bench had questioned the petitioner on how it is possible to install street lights on the highway and also questioned which law says that street lights should be installed on a highway.
The petitioner maintained that JASS Toll Road Company Limited has been given tender for the maintenance of the highway for 18 years and this aspect has been mentioned in the agreement. He had informed the bench that he will provide a copy of the agreement to the court.
The bench observed that the petitioner had not submitted relevant guidelines on the installation of street lights on the highway. Further, the advocate representing the National Highway Authority of India has submitted to the court that there is no legal provision as such which says it is compulsory to install street lights on highways.
The bench further observed that the petitioner had asked for a concession from paying the toll fee. The petitioner had also lodged a complaint alleging that the toll company staff had assaulted him over the matter of paying a Rs 20 toll fee.
The bench also observed that the petition was filed with an intention of enmity and there was no public interest in it. The bench quashed the petition and fined Rs 25,000.
The petitioner at this stage submitted to the court that he had not filed the petition with self-interest and it was filed in the interest of the public. He also told the court that he is ready to face investigation and if he is proved to have submitted the petition on self-interest he would pay Rs 50,000 fine instead of Rs 25,000.
The bench gave another order that since the petitioner himself has agreed to pay a Rs 50,000 fine, the fine amount is increased from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 and quashed the petition.