Recently, the Gujarat High Court refused to entertain a PIL after observing that the petitioner had filed this PIL raising the issues alike to a PIL which was dismissed by the court earlier [NIRANJAN GHOSH, MAHAMANTRI, BAHUJAN SAMAJ PARTY Versus THE STATE ELECTION COMMISSION]. This petition sought the reservation of seats in local elections with the use of VVPAT along with a list of the malpractices committed by the state election commission.
This matter was moved before a Division Bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Biren Vaishnav, they noted that the approaching courts through public interest litigation due to easily available judicial redressal mechanism, often got misused or abused by the persons. They also stressed that the current case of successive PIL was a stark example of such abuse.
"Easy access to judicial redressal mechanism, especially through Public Interest Litigation, is at times misused. This case by a successive Public Interest Litigation by the petitioner is one such stark example of such abuse/misuse."
The petitioner was a Mahamantri of the Bahujan Samaj Party, who had filed a PIL earlier which got rejected after the observation of the High Court on Feb 1 2021.
The contentions of the petitioner were to secure reservation of seats favouring the SC/ST, Socially and Educationally Backward Classes and Women candidates in local body election. In addition to this, it was sought that a proper mechanism to grant reserved seats, it was prayed to use of VVPATs for the elections and in the last, it sought listing of irregularities practised by the state election commission.
The High Court observed that a similar PIL was rejected once and noted that the issue raised and prayer sought in the current petition was similar to a petition addressed and dismissed by the court earlier. The court also found no robust material supporting the allegations regarding the reservation of seats made in the petition, hence, found those averments vague. The High Court stated that the State Authorities by enacting rules, scientifically deal with the allocation and determination of the reserved seats.
The bench observed "Incoherent pleadings not backed by any material, multiple complaints separated with each other have been placed in the prayer without application of mind."
Considering that the petitioner had filed the same frivolous petition for the second time, despite being rejected by the court once, the High Court proceeded with dismissing the PIL based on its merit.