Petitioner belongs to a rival political party- this can’t be a ground to reject PIL: SC

In a recent case, the Supreme Court observed that PILs could not be thrown out because the petitioner belonged to a rival political party. The Court further observed that persons with political affiliations were also entitled to file Public Interest Litigation just like other people.

These observations were made when the Bench granted interim relief to Mamata Banerjee’s election agent SK Supian in a case related matter that revived FIRs related to the Nandigram violence case.

As per the Bench, courts had to examine if the PIL was in Public Interest or was filed for personal gains. The Bench further noted that the Court has to examine on a case by case basis if the litigation was bonafide or not.

These observations were made when the Bench addressed contentions raised by Counsels for West Bengal that a rival political party had filed the PIL for oblique reasons, and therefore the Court should not entertain the same.

Regarding the impugned order, the Court observed that it was passed without hearing the petitioner, and therefore the COurt passed an interim order to grant a stay.

One SK Supian filed the instant SLP against the Calcutta High Court order in a PIL wherein criminal cases in which he was acquitted in February 2020 were re-instituted against him.

Before the Court, the petitioner submitted that the ACJM had acquitted him as the cases were based on a baseless charge sheet filed in cases related to mass protests during 2007-2009 to create SEZ Nandigram (West Bengal).

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As per the petitioner, the case against him was that he engaged in an unlawful assembly and indulged in violence. However, the public prosecutor filed an application for prosecution in 2020. The High Court reversed the decision to discharge/acquit him.

He alleged that his liberty was prejudiced, as the High Court did not grant him liberty to be heard, and he was not impleaded as a party.

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