HC dismisses PIL against Jetty near Murud-Janjira fort in Raigad

 The Bombay High Court on Monday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) against the construction of a jetty near the coastal fort of Murud-Janjira, which is a popular tourist spot, in Maharashtra’s Raigad district.

The petition, filed by social activist and local politician Mahesh Mohite, claimed the fort has been declared a historical monument under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

The construction of a jetty near the fort would harm the environment and cause an impediment to the livelihood of fishermen in the area, he further claimed.

A division bench of Chief Justice Devendra Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor, however, noted that no grievance was raised by the fishermen.

The fishermen, who are said to be affected, have already formed a cooperative society and if they are affected then it is for this society to take up the matter before the authorities concerned, it said.

“The petition could have been filed by the fishermen. Why should we entertain the petition of a politician?” the bench said.

The petitioner should not consider courts as a political platform and utilise legal proceedings for political purposes, it said.

“We are not providing a field to play politics. Why has the society (fishermen) not filed a petition? We don’t appreciate this. You are not an office-bearer or member,” the HC said.

The bench dismissed the PIL and granted liberty to the fishermen society to seek appropriate remedy under law.

The HC said Mohite was not even a member of the fishermen society nor has he made any single representation before any authority prior to approaching the court.

A government agency has been constructing the jetty to facilitate easier access to the fort for tourists.

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